WPP’s Xaxis closes MIG unit

WPP’s real-time trading unit Xaxis has folded the Media Innovation Group, which was under 24/7 Media.

This is a global move for Xaxis and includes MIG’s operations in New York, Europe and Asia. MIG’s proposition was to serve non-Group M clients, as well as connect creative agencies back to the media buying business. However, this was a small part of Xaxis business.

This also follows Xaxis merging with 24/7 Media earlier last December, a move aimed at making Xaxis the largest programmatic media and technology platform.

As a result of MIG’s closure, redundancies have been made, including that of regional director James Welch. In Asia, MIG has offices in China, Sydney, Mumbai and in Singapore. Each office had no more than three staff.

Welch confirmed his departure to Marketing, and said that MIG Asia was the only one making the right numbers, but left because he felt there was no suitable role for him. Welch is officially with the company until April this year, and said he is looking to stay in the programmatic space.

Welch refuted speculation that the real time bidding space was hitting turbulence, as some have remarked following earlier news of RTB technology provider Brandscreen looking to be sold. Brandscreen was one of the earlier entrants in this space in the Asia Pacific region. Welch interpreted the move as mere consolidation and in turn, growth for WPP.

“Programmatic buying is still in its infancy, it’s not beginning of the end or the end of the beginning. It’s an exciting space to be part of,” said Welch.

Xaxis could not be reached for comment at the time of publishing.

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