WPP Digital acquires Blue State Digital, LLC

30 December, 2010


WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world’s largest communications services group, announces that it has agreed to acquire all the assets of privately held Blue State Digital, LLC (BSD) in the United States and the United Kingdom through WPP Digital, the digital investment and operating arm of WPP.

Blue State Digital is a full-service digital agency specializing in advocacy, membership and fundraising campaigns for nonprofits, educational and cultural institutions, political campaigns and corporate brands. The company’s annual revenue has grown in excess of 30% per year since its founding in 2004. BSD employs 130 people across its offices in Washington DC, Boston, New York, Los Angeles and London.

“Blue State Digital will bring distinctive skills to WPP Digital through its formidable presence in cause-based marketing, its comprehensive core technology set and an impressive set of clients," said Mark Read, Director of Strategy for the parent company and CEO of WPP Digital. “We are delighted they will be joining WPP Digital and are looking forward to working with a very talented management team, with unique credentials, to bring their skills to the entire WPP network and our clients."

“I’ve witnessed first-hand Blue State Digital’s political prowess and I am very impressed by their ability to take their political and organizing skills and apply them to a wide array of challenges,” said Howard Paster, WPP’s Executive Vice President, Public Relations and Public Affairs. “Providing services that span the political, not-for-profit and commercial worlds is not always easy, but BSD masters it. They are a welcome addition to WPP Digital.”

Thomas Gensemer, Managing Partner of BSD, added, “We are excited to continue our growth within WPP Digital. We look forward to leveraging WPP’s vast resources, incredible talent, and deep client relationships around the world to grow our business and further extend our leadership for both non-profit and for-profit clients.”

“WPP Digital will be a great home for BSD as we pursue our mission of bridging traditional and new-media campaigns to deepen relationships between organizations and the people most important to them," said Joe Rospars, Founding Partner and Creative Director of BSD.

BSD was founded in 2004 and has helped over 250 clients inspire and engage people for fundraising, membership, and advocacy-oriented programs, raising over $800 million in contributions to date and generating tens of millions of online signups and actions. Their work on the 2008 “Obama for America” campaign is demonstrative of their market-leading approach to technology and online communications. In recent years, the company’s management has successfully applied their strategies to a diverse list of clients around the world including major non-profits, consumer brands, media properties and political causes.

BSD’s proprietary technology offering, the BSD Online Tools (www.bsdtools.com), is a carefully architected technology suite that integrates tools for fundraising, advocacy, social networking, constituency development, email marketing and content management through a unified easy to use interface. Along with technology services, BSD also provides comprehensive web design and development services and strategic communications consulting.

By joining the portfolio of WPP Digital companies, BSD, with its digital outreach and social media strategies, will bolster the Group's leadership position in providing best-in-class solutions, complementing WPP’s existing client service offering in marketing communications and public affairs. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Contacts:

Feona McEwan, WPP, London
+44 (0)20 7408 2204 Email: fmcewan@wpp.com

Kevin McCormack, WPP, New York
+212 632 2200 Email: kmccormack@wpp.com

Kerri Chyka, Blue State Digital
+ (1) 646 205 1156 Email: kchyka@bluestatedigital.com

About WPP
WPP is the world’s leading communications services group. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising; media investment management; consumer insight; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs over 140,000 people (including associates) in 2,400 offices in 107 countries. For more information, visit www.wpp.com.

About WPP Digital
Through WPP Digital, WPP makes acquisitions and strategic investments in companies that bolster the Group's presence in the digital marketing & media and provide access for WPP companies and their clients to a portfolio of digital experts.

About Blue State Digital
Blue State Digital (BSD) is a full-service agency that provides integrated digital marketing strategy as well as a Web-based licensed software platform to help organizations drive concrete results by building communities online. BSD provides clients with a variety of strategic services, including program development and management, mass email strategy and execution, website design, content development, video and motion graphics, offline PR and social media outreach, analytics and online advertising. In addition, the BSD Online Tools, the company’s licensed software toolset, offers organizations of any size a core CRM/CMS technology platform for community-building and other advocacy initiatives. BSD has offices in New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Boston and London. For more information, visit www.bluestatedigital.com and www.bsdtools.com.

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