WPP buys stake in $700m digital media player Essence

As widely flagged, WPP is buying a majority stake in Essence Digital, described as a leading global digital agency and the world’s biggest independent buyer of digital media.

Essence will continue as a separate brand in WPP’s GroupM media monolith (GroupM is, presumably, the world’s biggest non-independent buyer of digital media).

Essence was founded in London in 2005 and now employs 500 or so people around the world. It buys more than $700m of digital media annually.

WPP’s digital revenues were $6.9 billion in 2014, representing 36 per cent of a total revenue of $19bn. The company wants 40-45 per cent of revenue to be derived from digital in the next five years, which the stake in Essence should help along.

No figure has been put on the deal although, presumably, it’s substantial. Essence clients include the FT, Google, HP and Tesco Mobile.

Interesting stuff on Essence and its relationship with Google here, from Ad Age.

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