Thu, 10 Mar 2005

Grey Global Group joins WPP

The Jakarta Post Jakarta

Another marketing and communications firm is flying under the wings of the WPP Group, after the global conglomerate, which has also swallowed up communications firms such as J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather, officially acquired the Grey Global Group early this week.

"We think that this acquisition will take us to the next level of development in the marketing and communications industry," Grey Global Group chairman and CEO for Asia Pacific Mike Amour told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Grey Global Group, the world's seventh largest advertising company, as ranked by Advertising Age in 2003, is a multinational marketing and communications firm with 409 offices in 90 countries, serving clients such as consumer goods producer Procter & Gamble and cellular phone manufacturer Nokia.

Its Indonesian branch was founded in 1976 in partnership with local firm Rama Perwira Advertising, an in-house advertising agency of the Modern Group. It later became an official local agency of Grey Advertising Worldwide -- Grey Indonesia.

Grey Indonesia takes care of the communications strategies for local and multinational clients in the country, such as telecommunications firm Indosat, British American Tobacco and LippoBank.

The Asia Pacific market, including Indonesia, accounts for some 10 percent of Grey Global's annual revenue, the regional CEO said.

"WPP shares a similar vision in seeing the Asia Pacific market as a potential growth area," said Amour, adding that the companies were committed to increasing their investment in the region.

The WPP Group, overseeing some 200 companies worldwide, mostly operating in the marketing and communications industry, bought Grey Global for $1.3 billion in cash and shares, according to its website.

WPP, which stands for Wire & Plastics Products, a UK shopping cart manufacturer, was acquired by Martin Sorrell in 1986 and developed into a vehicle for acquiring advertising-related businesses.

"We believe that with this acquisition there are a lot of complementary skills from the companies under WPP, such as research, that we can have access to for developing our services to clients," Amour said. (003)