Campaign Asia-Pacific is presenting a new top-5 list every day until we send our last daily bulletin of the year on December 19. We've had fun pulling this annual review together, and we hope you'll enjoy it too.
Please follow along as we spotlight the year's highlights and lowlights. And if you think we've screwed up—either by inclusion or omission—please let us hear about it in the comments and/or on Twitter @CampaignAsia using the hashtag #CampaignBestOf2014.
Without further ado, here are the...
1 - Publicis-Sapient
The US$3.7 billion price tag for Publicis' acquisition of Sapient Corporation is almost equal to the $3.86 billion Publicis has spent over the past eight years to acquire a dozen other digital assets, including Digitas, Lbi and Razorfish. That makes the deal a significant bet on a relative scale. Digital strengths were clearly an attractive aspect, but Sapient’s consultancy business may be the bigger gain. Names like Deloitte and Accenture have recently pushed into marketing on digital capabilities; maybe Sapient is how the mad men push back.
2 - Lowe-Profero
Profero’s joining Interpublic Group at the start of 2014 was no exception to the industry’s digital theme. The network’s Lowe and Partners announced the acquisition in January, renaming itself Lowe Profero, to create a global digital offering. CEO Wayne Arnold (right) recently said, “the partnership has been embraced by all our teams,” pointing to double-digital YOY growth as proof of concept. Pre-merger, the agencies worked jointly on accounts such as Danone, Diageo and PWC. Since combining, the agency won SEAT, Delonghi and the Syfy Channel, among other clients.
3 - WPP-XMKT Group
In March WPP announced it had closed a deal to add China’s XMKT to its portfolio, declaring that the acquisition is part of a larger strategy to boost presence in fast-growth markets. XMKT brings four main disciplines to the table: events, retail, entertainment and digital. R3’s Greg Paull commented on the sale saying “XMKT is a first rate marketing services agency—one of the few local ones with such a strong multinational client mix.”
4 - BlueFocus-We Are Social
China’s largest marketing group closed the purchase of We Are Social, a UK firm that claims to be the world’s largest social media agency, early in the year. On the heels of that acquisition, and with an aim for global growth, BlueFocus also acquired Metta Communications, billed as the largest independent advertising agency in Hong Kong. After closing both deals, the company reported 122 per cent earnings growth in its latest quarterly results.
5 - Nikkei-Monocle
Japanese media conglomerate Nikkei took a stake in London-based global affairs and design magazine Monocle in September. The deal pushed the value of Monocle, which Tyler Brûlé (right) launched in 2007, to more than US$100 million. The Japanese/UK combination was the result of both sides looking for synergies that would help them access each others markets. The aim for each is to share international newsstand and subscription intelligence.
Tune in tomorrow for the Top 5 Launches