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Publicis Africa Group’s recent acquisition of Popimedia marks a historic move in the industry – it’s the first time an advertising network has made an investment in an ad-tech company.

The move arises as online presence and engagement increasingly gain traction in the business world. As a result, brands and companies are seeking alliances with partners who possess the relevant specialist skills. While many digital agencies present themselves as experts in social and digital marketing, the truth is that few have the required technical grounding.

Popimedia, the company that developed software programme meedee8, offers proprietary technology in addition to specialist skills. Established in SA, it operates internationally –  in the US, the UK, Nigeria, Kenya, Dubai and even Afghanistan –  helping clients optimise their social and digital media endeavours. It’s the largest buyer of Facebook ad space and is fully integrated with Twitter Ads. Locally the company works with a number of blue-chip clients, including Brandhouse, KFC, MTN, Nestlé and Unilever.

For the Publicis Africa Group, the acquisition of Popimedia will give clients across the continent  access to added digital expertise that will provide them with a quantifiable competitive advantage.

Publicis Africa Group’s MD, Kevin Tromp, says the acquisition will allow the group to maximise reach as well as conversation and engagement through the line, using social and digital platforms.

The acquisition of Popinmedia for an estimated R350m follows Publicis’s acquisition of The Creative Counsel last year. Further acquisitions are planned for 2016.

In an industry where measurement is a nonnegotiable indicator of a campaign’s success, Popimedia was perhaps an obvious choice for Publicis Africa and an effective tool to add to its arsenal in terms of further entrenching its commitment to providing clients with greater value and solutions that measurably maximise their investment.

Social and digital media have become inherent to the success of any good campaign, as well as an essential component when it comes to growing a brand in current markets. CEO of Popimedia, Daniel Levy, says the agency’s specialist skills are a necessity for both communication agencies and clients who are looking to come up with the best possible solutions for their businesses.

Levy says Popimedia will continue to operate under its own brand within the Publicis Africa Group, but will be part of the group’s offering to existing and future clients.

The big take-out: To arm itself with specialist skills in the ad-tech space, Publicis Africa Group has wholly acquired Popimedia, which will continue to operate under its own brand within the Group’s stable.

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