WPP makes Amazon-centric acquisition to cure CEO’s nightmares
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WPP makes Amazon-centric acquisition to cure CEO’s nightmares

In an interview earlier this year, WPP’s CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell, responded to the question “what keeps you up at night” with just one word: “Amazon”. Now, the company thinks it might have found a way to help Sir martin sleep more deeply – and if you’re a WPP client, you may find a whole host of new services at your fingertips in the next few months. The reason for this is that WPP has acquired, through its network Possible, a consultancy called Marketplace Ignition. This consultancy is focused on one thing only: helping businesses and ad agencies figure out the world of Amazon.

Marketplace Ignition was founded by Amazon veteran Eric Heller, and it’s the number one solution for brands that want their products to be more visible on the huge Ecommerce platform. Acquiring network Possible’s president of the Americas said that “three quarters of every advertising dollar goes to Google or Facebook, but Amazon is the third horse.” He also pointed out that two-thirds of American households subscribe to Amazon Prime, and that annual ad revenue could reach $20 billion by 2020. “Brands are overwhelmed,” he said.

Senior vice president of Possible, Frank Kochenash, explained how Amazon presents a new challenge to traditional marketers:

“Winning on Amazon requires a brand and its agency partners to do different things than what they’ve done historically for 50 years. If you sell anything from baby carriers to popcorn but don’t show up in Amazon searches, I’d go so far as to say your brand it not credible in that category.”

Specifics of the deal were not forthcoming, but WPP plans to present its Amazon specific services to clients in the coming months.


Dominion holds WPP in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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