WPP wins race for ‘programmatic buying’ agency Essence Digital

essenceWPP has acquired Essence Digital, one of the fastest-growing media agencies and the largest independent buyer of online advertising.

The agency, which manages media spending of more than $700m for clients including Google, specialises in so-called “programmatic” buying. This is the use of computers and data to deliver adverts to people with greater precision than is possible through traditional media.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but investment bankers said WPP was likely to have paid a premium for Essence to fend off its rivals Omnicom, Publicis, IPG, Dentsu Aegis and Havas.

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