BuzzFeed in first global advertising deal with Martin Sorrell’s WPP

BuzzFeed has entered the big leagues of advertising, striking its first global agency deal with Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP that includes an ad spend commitment thought to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

BuzzFeed has formed a strategic partnership with GroupM, WPP’s global media planning and buying arm, which will give WPP agencies and clients “unprecedented” access to the digital news organisation.

Part of the non-exclusive deal, which includes “preferential” media pricing for ad campaigns run by WPP clients, is understood to include a guaranteed annual ad spend commitment for BuzzFeed.

Sorrell said that Group M spends $76bn annually on campaigns on behalf of WPP clients, and securing a large scale spend deal is a coup for BuzzFeed.

The exact amount is not known, although it is thought to be less than $100m, it will be in the tens of millions of dollars annually.

Sorrell said that GroupM spends $120m annually on Twitter, $130m on AOL, $430m on Yahoo, $1bn on Facebook, $2.5bn on Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and Fox media empire, and $3bn on Google, its biggest client.

“This is a huge deal for us,” said Kate Burns, general manager of BuzzFeed’s European operation. “This was done in partnership between BuzzFeed in New York and London to secure our first significant agency deal. This is a big deal for us in terms of our strategic growth and also our future as well. We treat all our partners equally, and hopefully there will be more agency deals to come.”

BuzzFeed will leverage its native advertising capability as well as Pound, its social data technology product. 

“The future of advertising lies at the intersection of creativity, data, media and technology,” said Rob Norman, chief digital officer at GroupM. “That’s where BuzzFeed has built its business and proved its value to brands. This is a terrific opportunity for our clients to move swiftly and succeed in the fastest growing media platforms”

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