Omnicom Snaps Up U.S. Mobile Marketing Firm

Agency holding company Omnicom has acquired four-year-old mobile marketing firm ipsh!, whose clients have included Starburst and Britney Spears’ Curious perfume brand.

Ipsh! will join Omnicom’s “diversified agency services” unit. The wireless communications firm is based in San Francisco, and has offices in New York, Seattle and Los Angeles. Its proprietary PRISM cross-channel marketing platform integrates phones with email, iTV, couponing and the Web.

Neither company could immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier this year, ipsh! created a large-scale text messaging promotion for Starburst in which SMS short codes appeared on approximately 100 million packs of candy. By texting a game code to the short code JUICY, people could win prizes.

Observers of wireless marketing have reported that large agency holding companies are increasingly interested in buying up firms specializing in mobile communications. During a session at the recent Advertising Week festivities in New York, Publicis CEO Maurice Levy maintained that mobile devices will ultimately be the largest, most powerful marketing channel of all.

“We all believe that the biggest media in the world will be the cell phone, when it has the features and possibility for ads,” he said. Spending on mobile campaigns in the U.S. has lagged far behind expenditures in Europe and Asia.