Earlier this week, GroupM’s digital agency Essence set up shop in Shanghai China. Not to be outdone, competitor Dentsu Aegis Network has taken a step to strengthen its own digital operation in the region with an agreement to acquire Darwin Marketing there.
After the deal is completed, Darwin — a performance marketing agency — will be integrated with Dentsu’s iProspect, which combined will form a team of 150 search and performance specialists, of which about 80 currently comprise Darwin.
The agency expansion activity in the market is driven by the rapid growth of digital ad and marketing expenditures there. According to Carat, also part of Dentsu Aegis, digital advertising spending soared nearly 29% in China last year, on top of 35% growth the prior year.