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JWT to acquire majority stake in social media agency Social Wavelength

JWT Social Wavelength

WPP Group’s global marketing communications agency JWT has agreed to acquire a majority stake in the Mumbai-based social media agency Social Wavelength for an undisclosed amount.

Social Wavelength had previously raised two rounds of angel funding from four investors, one in June 2010 and another in December 2011. WPP mentions that Social Wavelength had registered total revenues of Rs 9.2 crore with gross assets of Rs 5.9 crore for the year ended March 31, 2013.

The company was founded in 2011 and offers social media services like brand communication, social media monitoring, social media outreach, Facebook and Twitter marketing among others. It also offers services like social & mobile app development and media buying and has a tie-up with Salesforce-owned social media monitoring company Radian6 to be its India representative.

Some of its prominent clients include Franklin Templeton, Apollo Hospitals, Idea Cellular and GE India Industrial. It employs around 170 people across offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.

WPP’s 5th acquisition in India

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WPP mentions this is the group’s fifth acquisition in India in the last four years. These include:

– JWT Singapore acquiring 51% stake in Hungama Digital Services Private Limited in June 2012.
– Advertising agency Grey acquiring a majority stake in the rural marketing services provider RC&M in December 2013.
– Advertising & marketing agency Ogilvy & Mather acquiring majority stake in the Hyderabad-based digital technology company PennyWise Solutions in September 2013.

WPP had also acquired a controlling majority stake in Smile Interactive’s Quasar Media in 2007 and a majority stake in the Hyderabad-based Mindset Advertising Pvt Ltd in July 2011. WPP mentions that it currently employs around 13,000 people in India through its companies and associates and generate revenues of around $500 million

WPP is the not the only the group actively acquiring digital agencies in India. French advertising and public relations company Publicis Groupe has made eight acquisitions in India since mid-2012, the most recent one being Delhi-based advertising and digital agency Law & Kenneth last month.

Last month, DDB Group Asia Pacific and Omnicom Group had also acquired Bangalore-based digital marketing firm 22feet to merge it with DDB Group’s Tribal Worldwide India and create new entity called 22feet Tribal Worldwide, which will be a part of the DDB Mudra Group.

E-commerce company Infibeam had also acquired Bangalore-based digital marketing firm ODigMa to offer digital marketing solutions to its B2B merchants who use the company’s digital commerce platform BuildaBazaar and provide marketing solutions to its B2C customers on Infibeam.com.

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