WPP has merged its programmatic media platform Xaxis and 24/7 Media, with the latter to be absorbed into the Xaxis brand and all future programmatic media trading to come under the Xaxis brand.
The merged firm will be led by current Xaxis CEO, Brian Lesser. David J. Moore, chairman and CEO of 24/7 Media, will become Xaxis Chairman, and take on a dual role as president of WPP Digital. The deal will close in the first quarter of 2014, said a Xaxis release.
The firm has touted it as the world’s largest programmatic media and technology platform, managing US$750 million of audience-targeted media for more than 2,700 clients around the globe.
Sir Martin Sorrell (pictured), chief executive officer of WPP said: “This merger will enhance our ability to innovate by creating deeper data connections and streamlined technology resources. We were the first parent company to make a significant investment in advertising technology and today’s deal further extends our leadership in the high growth service sector.”
This comes as rivals Publicis and Omnicom are set to merge. "Scale does matter in programmatic media buying," Lesser told Ad Age. "If you want to bypass the auction and go to publishers you want scale in buying power and in data," he said.
Xaxis was founded within WPP in 2011 to buy ad impressions in bulk and add value by applying client data. 24/7 Media is a collection of publisher-side technologies acquired for US$649 million in 2007.
“Publishers will now have the choice to eliminate value-diminishing middle layers by linking directly with the world’s largest media buyer,” said Moore.
According to WPP release, Xaxis currently runs over 450 billion impressions a year in 31 offices within 28 markets across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. 24/7 Media operates in 18 offices across these same regions, with over 500 employees.