Holding company WPP has acquired New York-based influencer marketing specialist Village Marketing in a bid to expand its influencer marketing offering.
Village Marketing, which has led creative campaigns for Nike, Netflix, Equinox and the Honest Company, will join the Wunderman Thompson North American network.
Founded in 2013 by Vickie Segar, Village Marketing has 150 employees and was specifically created with the vision of building brands in a social media and mobile first world. It was one of the first creative firms to fully honour the unique impact of creators and has led creative campaigns for some of the foremost consumer brands of the last decade, including Equinox, Nike, Netflix, The Farmer’s Dog, Boll and Branch, Honest Co., Tommy John, SoulCycle, and many others.
Village Marketing will join the Wunderman Thompson network, a member of WPP, to strengthen its commitment to the creator economy. Given the ubiquity of social media, creators are among the most powerful voices of today. This acquisition will allow Wunderman Thompson to offer its clients and brands much deeper and more direct access to the creator economy.
Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “Influencers have an increasingly important role in creating brands. Village Marketing will bring tremendous experience with some of the world’s leading brands in using influencer content alongside performance marketing strategies to drive results for modern marketers. I’m delighted to welcome them to WPP.”
Mel Edwards, Global CEO of Wunderman Thompson, said: “Wunderman Thompson is a destination for brands who want to access the best creative minds and the strongest expertise in data and technology. As Village Marketing joins the Wunderman Thompson family, we can make its full community of creators more accessible and available to our clients, who are among the world’s biggest brands.”
Village Marketing has long advocated for women’s representation and recognition of women in business, including in creative agencies and in the influencer marketing space at large. As an all-women team, Village Marketing’s acquisition marks a historic moment for the growth of the influencer industry and women-led businesses everywhere.
Vickie Segar, Founder of Village Marketing, said: “For decades, the creator economy and influencer marketing have been wildly misunderstood and undervalued. We are now at a tipping point where this is changing — and it’s changing fast. This acquisition is a massive opportunity for us to leverage the expertise of a global leader to both turbocharge our investment in the creator economy and integrate influencer marketing into the broader marketing ecosystem. We can’t wait to join the Wunderman Thompson family to continue to evolve the future of marketing and work on inspiring brands with entrepreneurial creators.”
The acquisition is part of WPP’s accelerated growth strategy and focused M&A approach to further strengthen its core creative capabilities in marketing, communications and design, and follows the acquisition of Made Thought in December 2021.