Aegis signed a majority stake in Adsit to beef its search-driven e-commerce capability under iProspect China.
Aegis Group is keeping busy strengthening its digital media planning and search capabilities in China, following news of the London-based digital media group's $4.9 billion acquisition by Japanese ad giant Dentsu, earlier this month.
To tap the explosive e-commerce growth in the country, Aegis announced it has sealed a majority stake joint venture with Chinese digital marketing company, Beijing Adsit Technology, under its iProspect network on Wednesday.
Adsit will provide access to its e-commerce platform, data pool, and key talent to offer search, display, and e-commerce services under the partnership, which will be renamed as iProspect China.
Cindy Xue, Adsit's current COO, has been appointed CEO for iProspect China.
IProspect Asia Pacific CEO Ruth Stubbs said the search agency has been collaborating with Adsit in the past two years to roll out customized measurement and optimization tools.
In that period, they have established a shared goal to develop digital measurement and collective expertise in search-driven e-commerce in China, she added.
Within this month, Aegis has also bought Chinese digital agency Catch Stone, which includes Beijing Catch Stone Advertising and Shanghai Catch Stone Culture Media worth RMB 550 million (US$86 million).
Founded in 2002, Catch Stone specializes in digital media planning and buying as well as creative and social media services across the automotive and financial services sectors in the country.
Its clients include Audi, Nissan, SAIC-GM- Wuling (joint venture between General Motors, SAIC Motor, and Liuzhou Wuling Motors), and Industrial Bank among others.
Catch Stone, with more than 130 people across its offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, will continue to keep its identity under Aegis Media China. It will work alongside its other network brands Carat, Vizeum, Isobar, iProspect, and Posterscope.
"The acquisition of Catch Stone is in line with our strategy of targeting acquisitions with specific focus on digital businesses and faster-growing regions," said Nick Waters, CEO of Aegis Media Asia Pacific.
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Adaline Lau, ClickZ Asia editor, oversees day-to-day editorial operations covering digital marketing from search to social media, mobile to analytics in the region. Before ClickZ, she was senior reporter at Marketing Magazine and has worked as a journalist for The Singapore Marketer and Asia Pacific Broadcasting. Connect with her @adalinelau or Google+.
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