WPP plans creative digital extension with merger

LONDON - WPP Group is to merge the new-media creative agencies Good Technology and Incline and plans to purchase complementary digital agencies to add to its portfolio.

Incline -- a subsidiary of Mediaedge:cia alongside its sister digital planning and buying agency Outrider -- and Good Technology will retain their individual brand names.

The companies will be co-located in what is interpreted as a cost-saving initiative. The combined client list includes Sony, Audi, Selfridges, Direct Line, Canon Europe and Sony PlayStation.

Both companies will report to Good Technology's founder and managing director, Richard Davies, who has been promoted to chairman. Davies will, in turn, report to Rob Norman, the chairman of Mediaedge:cia UK.

As part of Davies' expanded role, Norman has tasked him to seek out suitable agencies for acquisition in WPP's first moves to increase its digital offering since the dotcom bust.

"I am looking to bring in other digital businesses to the group that complement or add something to our existing offering to develop a more rounded production and technology offering," Davies said.

"We are looking at competent businesses that have perhaps lost their way in the downturn and are currently working on our first acquisition," he added.

Incline's managing director, Emma Foster, will retain her role in the combined group while Good Technology's chief operating officer, Xanthe Arvanitakis, has been promoted to fill Davies' role of managing director.

In December, WPP increased its stake in the nine-year-old Good Technology from 76% to whole ownership.

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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).