S4 Capital tiptoes into data analysis with Brightblue

WPP announced its half year 2020 results this morning (teacher’s A-level grade B+) so pinging into the inbox is an announcement from S4 Capital, now home to WPP founder Sir Martin Sorrell.

Sorrell’s S4 – which now styles itself a “tech-led, new age, new era digital advertising and marketing services company” – has bought (or merged with, as it prefers) UK-based data analytics and measurement consultancy Brightblue Consulting. This will be rolled into S4’s programmatic media arm MightyHive.

Brightblue is pretty small with just 25 “mathematicians and econometricians” working for clients including Co-op, Royal Mail, Secret Escapes, Hiscox, NHS, LV, and Habito.

Executive chairman Sorrell says: “We are delighted to welcome (Brightblue) to S4Capital. Data, particularly first-party data, is at the heart of S4Capital’s ‘holy trinity’ business model. Brightblue’s skills in making sense of it and using it to drive profitable growth are a timely addition to our client-focused service offering.

“We believe the measurement and modelling systems in our industry are in dire need of innovation. They are either too slow and traditional and no longer fit for purpose, or too narrowly confined to digital channels. We look forward to disrupting this multi-billion dollar industry with a modern new-era approach which is faster, better, and cheaper.”

Indeed he might. But big data is a pretty big business these days (Publicis coughed up $4.4bn for Epsilon, Interpublic $2.2bn for Acxiom.) S4 still has a way to go before the third leg of its “holy trinity” (the first is digital content agency MediaMonks) is a major player.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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