WPP is acquiring the assets of AKQA Holdings, Inc, the world’s leading independent and most awarded digital agency, subject to regulatory approval.
Founded in 2001, AKQA provides integrated digital communications campaigns, spanning social media, mobile, interactive experiences, gaming and content creation. Clients include Delta, Diageo, EDF, GAP, Google, Microsoft Xbox, Nike, Target, Unilever and Virgin Money, among many others.
International recognition for its creative excellence has earned the agency numerous industry awards, including 19 Agency of the Year titles. Last year, AKQA won Digital Agency of the Year honours in both the US (Adweek) and the UK (Campaign) and collected five Cannes Lions.
AKQA will continue to operate as an independent and stand-alone brand within WPP and be led by founder and CEO Ajaz Ahmed and Chairman Tom Bedecarré. Bedecarré will also become President of WPP Ventures, a new Silicon Valley-based company, which will explore new digital investment opportunities for WPP as a whole. Other appointments to the Board of WPP Ventures will be made in due course.
Currently employing 1,160 people worldwide – from software engineers and technologists to creatives and strategists – the agency operates through offices in the US (San Francisco, New York, Washington DC), Europe (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin) and Asia (Shanghai). The agency had gross assets of $282 million as at December 31, 2011 and forecasts revenues of around $230 million in 2012, having achieved $189 million in 2011.