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Neo@Ogilvy acquires 70% of Global Strategies International in US

2 March, 2007

Neo@Ogilvy, The Ogilvy Group’s global digital and direct media company, is pleased to announce that it has acquired Global Strategies International (GSI), a leading Search Marketing Consultancy.

The move complements Neo’s current global offering of both paid and organic services by delivering deeper expertise in “natural” search results and providing a strategic approach to using search (not just search engines) as a marketing channel.

The integration of these two entities creates an immediate marketplace advantage for Neo and GSI clients in their efforts to use all types of search to connect consumers with their brands.  The combined global reach of both companies includes twenty-four offices in twenty-one countries.  GSI also shares some of Neo's top clients around the world.

“Search marketing cannot live in a silo anymore,” said Nasreen Madhany, Global CEO of Neo@Ogilvy.  “It needs to be part of a 360 strategy for delivering marketing solutions.  When managed holistically, search marketing can deliver branding as well as business results.  The integration of GSI into Neo@Ogilvy will allow us to deliver end-to-end digital marketing solutions to clients throughout Neo’s global network.”

Launched in 2004, GSI provides a strategic approach to search marketing for major global clients including IBM.  Founders include Bill Hunt, an industry leader in Search Marketing and author of “Search Engine Marketing Inc, – Driving Search Traffic to Your Company’s Web Site,” and his partners Jeremy Sanchez and Andy Weatherwax.  Hunt was also recently appointed to the 2007 Board of Directors of SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization.  Hunt, Sanchez and Weatherwax will continue to lead GSI, which will maintain its own identity within Neo@Ogilvy.

“Search has become more than just about improving listings on a search engine,” said Hunt.  “The dynamics of search give consumers a way to manage their lives online and enable marketers to deliver specific needs at the most relevant moment:  when consumers are looking for information and solutions.  Search marketing is the most highly targeted form of online marketing and the best opportunity marketers have to engage "intent-driven" prospects who have self-identified their category, brand and/or product interest.”

WPP announces that its wholly-owned unit Neo@Ogilvy, the global digital and direct media network of the Ogilvy Group, has acquired 70% of the share capital of Global Strategies International Inc. (“GSI”). GSI specialises in search engine optimisation, brand reputation management and training for global enterprise companies.

Founded in 2004 and based in Farmington, Connecticut, GSI employs 16 people. GSI had unaudited revenues of US$2.17 million for the year ended 31 December, 2006, with gross assets at the same date of US$0.84 million.

This investment continues WPP’s strategy of developing its networks in fast growing markets and sectors and strengthening its capabilities in digital media.

Acrobat Document Ogilvy_PressRelease_Neoacquisition_mar07_guidf0b72.pdf

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