WPP, the world’s largest ad company, bought Chinese digital-advertising agency IM2.0 as part of its expansion strategy in the world’s fastest-growing economies, according to a person familiar with the matter.
WPP purchased IM2.0 through its VML operating company, which is part of the Young & Rubicam network, the person said, asking not to be identified because the transaction hasn’t been announced yet. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
China is WPP’s third-largest market — behind the U.S. and U.K. — with revenue, including associates, of $1.4 billion and about 14,000 employees. The London-based company is spending as much as $640 million this year, buying digital-ad assets and companies in rapidly expanding markets such as Turkey, Brazil, India and Vietnam to counter slower growth in Europe and North America and capture new business from burgeoning economies.