- In a move to add Google expertise to WPP’s media agencies, GroupM has acquired Essence.
- Essence, which is Google's digital agency of record, is expected to remain in that capacity and will continue to operate as an independent brand, as well as be available to other GroupM holdings.
- “It would have been a rather odd transaction to do if we didn’t have full confidence that the Google relationship would be retained and prosper," GroupM's chief digital officer said.
Google’s relationship with Essence was a key part of the deal, and GroupM Chief Digital Officer Rob Norman said the agency involved Google executives in conversations during the entire acquisition process.
Norman explained the value of that relationship to Ad Exchanger, saying, “Google, as you might imagine, is keen on its global digital agency using the full set of Google tools to deliver its advertising. As a consequence, they use Essence as a power user of the Google stack, and they also use Essence to beta new features, whether it’s in their services or their programmatic bidding products.”
Essence has 500 employees and is active in 70 global markets managing $700 million in media spending for Google as well as eBay, H-P, Tesco and others. The agency will continue to operate independently and will be available as a digital media resource for other firms in GroupM’s holdings such as Mindshare, MediaCom and MEC.