WPP joins up with Twitter in data share deal

WPP, the world’s largest advertising agency has combined forces with Twitter as it aims to better focus advertising by using consumer data.

The strategic partnership, announced yesterday, means that WPP and its agencies such as GroupM and Kantar, will use Twitter’s data trove to gain insight into customer behaviour to pinpoint where to spend its advertising dollars.

WPP said the partnership would focus on data and analytics. The advertising firm plans to integrate data posted by Twitter users into its various marketing products to provide better insights into consumer behaviour.

The move by WPP follows a similar agreement between Twitter and rival advertising agency Starcom MediaVest Group, part of Publicis Groupe, less than two months ago, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The decision comes despite WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell saying just four months ago that Twitter – which only allows messages of 140-characters – “reduces communication to superficialities and lacks depth”.

At the time, he argued that Twitter was more useful for public relations, than advertising.

However, yesterday Sorrell said that Twitter’s relevance was expanding. “Not only as a social platform, but also as a window into consumer attitudes and behaviour in real time,” Sorrell added.

Chief executive officer of Twitter Dick Costolo, said he was excited about the partnership.

“As Twitter has grown, marketers are leveraging the platform for brand insights, relevant real-time messaging, and customer research. This partnership will benefit clients by pairing Twitter with WPP’s world-class analytics, targeting, and creative capabilities,” he added.

With more than 200m users, Twitter has made serious efforts in recent months to court Madison Avenue as a means to boost its revenue to better compete with rivals Facebook and Google.