JWT has acquired Lunchbox, a 70-person agency out of Los Angeles that combines shopper marketing with digital elements for brands like Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, Walmart, and Disney. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
New York-based JWT picks up a company that helps brands marry online, social, and mobile with shopper marketing, a retail-based discipline involving category management, displays, sales, packaging, promotion, and research.
On the mobile front, Lunchbox has helped Kimberly-Clark brand Kotex develop an iPhone app called MeDaily, which lets women journal about their daily lives while tracking their menstrual cycle. It allows them to upload images, songs, and entries to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. In another instance, the agency aided Disney in cross-promoting items on Walmart.com for branded categories like Toy Story and Hannah Montana as well as general ones such as Baby, Home, and Cars. The agency syncs up such digital examples with in-store integration.
Lunchbox, which is led by CEO Adam Roe and CMO Kevin Weisberg, will retain its brand, staff, and operations, including offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and Bentonville, AR. Roe and Weisberg will report to David Eastman, JWT's CEO and worldwide digital director.
Meanwhile, it's the second large WPP-owned property to buy a marketing boutique this week. On Monday, Publicis purchased a majority stake in New York digital shop Big Fuel. And according to a ClickZ News source close to the situation, WPP is nearing a deal to acquire Arkansas indie Rockfish Interactive.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014