Monday 1 February 2021 3:39 pm

WPP signs early access advertising deal with Tiktok

WPP has secured an advertising partnership with Tiktok, marking a key step in the holding group’s efforts to cash in on the wildly popular video app.

The tie-up will give WPP’s clients early access to Tiktok’s new advertising services while they are under development, which the ad giant said will ensure they remain “at the forefront of innovation”.

Read more: Ads giant WPP turns to tech to restore growth after accounting error

This includes partnering on software that allows marketing data to be shared across platforms, as well as new technologies such as augmented reality.

Tiktok, which is owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance, will also build a network of its star users to provide exclusive advertising deals with selected brands.

“Our clients want new and innovative ways to reach consumers,” said WPP chief executive Mark Read.

“Tiktok has quickly demonstrated the power of mobile video and the many opportunities that exist for brands to engage in meaningful and creative ways on its platform.”

Shares in WPP ticked up just over one per cent following the announcement.

Tiktok has seen its popularity surge during the pandemic, surging past 2bn global downloads last year as housebound teens turned to social media for entertainment.

But the app has also come under fierce political pressure amid a crackdown by the Trump administration over alleged national security issues, as well as concerns over harmful material circulating on its platform.

Read more: Tiktok tightens privacy features as online harm laws loom

The app has announced a string of updates to its safety policies ahead of incoming laws to improve safety on social media.

WPP said its media buying arm Group M would continue to work with Tiktok on integrating third-party verification and content controls to help improve brand safety.