WPP Buys F.biz, Brazil Agency With Mobile Chops

WPP Group has acquired a 70 percent stake in a Brazil-based digital agency with mobile chops.

Sao Paulo-based F.biz was founded in 1999 and employs 200. It boasts a 50 percent annual growth rate since its founding and claims to be the largest independent shop in the country. Clients include Unilever, Campari, Itau, Vivo, and NetShoes.

F.biz’s CEO Gal Barradas said, “By taking this stake in our company, WPP will enable us to offer the best and most complete service to clients. Our focus is on strategic brand positioning and our intention is to offer new models in the communications market.”

The agency was an early achiever in mobile. A 2008 campaign for Unilever’s Seda Teens brand won an award from the Mobile Marketing Association. It won again last year for work on behalf of Lux.

With the acquisition WPP now employs over 4,500 people in Brazil, which is now the holding company’s eighth largest market.

The acquisition accompanies upbeat financial earnings for WPP. The conglomerate reported global revenues rose 6 percent in the first four months of 2011. Broken down by market, WPP’s U.S. operations saw revenue increase by 8 percent, the U.K. by 7 percent, and Continental Europe by 6 percent. Meanwhile the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) grew by over 17 percent.