WPP is still busily acquiring away and also sticking to its strategy of trying to build research operation Kantar into one of the world’s go-to information providers.
Unlike some of WPP’s recent buys overseas, Precise Media is quite a substantial business with revenues of £28.9m and gross assets of £34.4m. It has about 2500 customers in London and New York and employs 430 people.
Kantar itself bills about $5bn and employs 34,000 people. WPP refers to it as its ‘data investment’ arm and says its ambition is to become the “pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community.”
Which so far, it’s fair to say, it hasn’t although it’s undoubtedly big. One of the difficulties for Kantar is its connection to WPP which, as the world’s biggest media planner and buyer, might be seen as having too close an interest in the collection and dissemination of data.
But social media has given a big leg-up to monitoring services like Precise, even as it’s taken budget away from conventional PR firms – of which WPP also owns more than a few.