Racheal Lee
Dec 11, 2013

Vocanic CEO: Acquisition boosts GroupM's social capabilities

SINGAPORE - Singapore-based Vocanic will be providing enhanced social-media capabilities for GroupM agencies following WPP’s acquisition of a majority interest in the company.

Vocanic CEO Ian McKee
Vocanic CEO Ian McKee

Ian McKee, CEO of Vocanic, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that the agency will be the fifth agency under GroupM, and will work on the digital and social-media accounts of the GroupM agencies’ existing clients.

At the same time, Vocanic will continue to pitch for business directly with non-GroupM clients. Vocanic’s current client portfolio includes StarHub, Axis, SMRT, EDB, SAP, Astro, Unilever and Dell.

Vocanic’s name will remain in use, but its offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia will move to the GroupM offices early next year. McKee will remain as the CEO.

The acquisition, McKee added, reinforces the importance of social media and is a “massive opportunity” for the agency in the Southeast Asia region.

GroupM will have a new and enhanced proposition in social media following the acquisition,” he said. “They are good in traditional media, with Vocanic supporting them in social media, such as in planning and execution. We will be involving in the business directly and not as the back-end service provider.”

The agency has integration plans in place, which vary by country, he said, adding that some people may move to another team depending on their capabilities and strengths.

Vocanic, established in 2005, has 70 employees and provides social-media strategy consulting, social technology, social-media programme and campaign management, community management and social-media analytics.

Mark Patterson, CEO, Asia Pacific and Chairman, China, at GroupM, noted that social media is a rapidly developing sector of its business across Asia Pacific. This investment, he added, significantly accelerates the capabilities of its agencies in meeting client needs.

The investment marks GroupM’s continued strategy of developing its services in important sectors and its commitment to strengthening its capabilities in social media.

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