GroupM integrates global search operations

'Search has become an increasingly prevalent consumer activity and a vital part of overall communications strategy,' says Rob Norman, CEO GroupM Interaction Worldwide. And GroupM plans to do something about it.

WPP’s GroupM (parent of MediaCom, Mediaedge:cia, MindShare and Maxus) announced a consolidation and restructuring of its search operations around the world on Friday, and the changes are taking effect in Canada. The new entity will be the world’s largest search specialist inside a marketing services holding company, and will have a greater geographic footprint than any competitor.

Overall, search will be more closely integrated with communications planning and implementation. GroupM plans to create a set of human and technical capabilities that deliver search engine marketing (paid search), search engine optimization (natural search) and advanced search capabilities in video, mobile, local and social media.

‘We have been active in search since 1998, and in the decade since, search has become an increasingly prevalent consumer activity and a vital part of overall communications strategy,’ says Rob Norman, CEO GroupM Interaction Worldwide.

The new organization brings together four entities that previously operated independently: Outrider, the search provider to GroupM and direct clients in the USA with offices in New York, St. Louis, Chicago and Seattle as well as in EMEA and the Asia Pacific region; Catalyst, the paid search specialist based in Newton, Mass.; 24/7 Search, formerly a unit of 24/7 Real Media with offices in New York, Sunnyvale, Calif., Toronto, London, Paris, Madrid, Hamburg, Sydney, Tokyo and Seoul (Tokyo and Seoul are part of a joint venture between 24/7 Real Media and Dentsu and will remain separate from the rest of the organization); and Quisma, Germany’s leading paid search agency.

GroupM will retain co-operation with NEO@Ogilvy, but it will continue to function independently of the new GroupM structure. In addition, the bid management platform, Decide DNA, will remain part of 24/7 Real Media alongside its other platforms, including Open AdStream.

Wherever possible, GroupM will adapt the Decide DNA bid and campaign management tool developed by 24/7 Real Media. In addition to DNA adoption, GroupM will maintain existing collaborations with DoubleClick and Atlas, as well as continuing the use and development of Quisma’s Bid Agent platform in Germany.

Ultimately, GroupM will operate Maxus Search, MediaCom Search, Mediaedge:cia Search and MindShare Search in all markets. A fifth brand, Outrider, will be maintained in larger markets for clients that are not served by the rest of GroupM.