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WPP’s stake in comScore no cause for concern among media agencies, who applaud the potential of the partnership.

ComScore-WPP: Half full or half empty?

Kantar and comScore have allied to provide what they’re calling best-of-breed, cross-media audience- and campaign-measurement to the international realm. Kantar, WPP’s data investment management decision, will work with comScore to integrate their technologies, and comScore will acquire the assets of Kantar’s Internet audience measurement businesses in certain European markets. To deepen the relationship, WPP will take an approximate 20 percent stake in comScore.

There is still a major gap for advertisers and agencies to crack the media measurement code.

Overall, I think it’s a very positive thing for the industry,” says Justin Kuykendall, CEO of Pulpo Media. “There is still a major gap for advertisers and agencies to crack the media measurement code.”

The international angle makes this a strong play, according to Ludmila Palašìn, associate director of The Media Kitchen. She says, “Since this deal involves only European audience measurement assets, we think this is terrific for our international clients. Cross-media measurement is an ongoing challenge everywhere. This agreement makes us more responsive to our international clients’ cross-media measurement challenges.”

There’s potential synergy in the combination, according to Alex Kalluf, director of intelligence at Figliulo&Partners. Kantar has some strong cross-platform offerings, while comScore rocks in digital. In addition, the two are complementary in international markets. Says Kalluf, “Especially in Latin America, Brazil and China, they will have a stronger offering.”

There is a potential downside to this partnership, Kalluf says: “There’s a lot of overlap between some of the Kantar companies and what comScore does.” If the two decide to roll some of those up into a unified offering, it could lead to fewer options for agencies.

Media execs did not seem concerned about a potential for undue influence by WPP because of its stake in comScore. WPP isn’t about to kill this golden data goose, they said.

“There’s a lot of overlap between some of the Kantar companies and what comScore does.

Captura de pantalla 2014-12-08 a la(s) 18.20.17“WPP is not about to invest in a partnership and then destroy one of the main the reasons the partnership was struck in the first place,” Palašìn says. “If WPP influenced comScore’s research in any way, comScore would lose its primary asset—its reputation for objectivity.”

One thing to watch, according to Kalluf, is whether WPP might tighten comScore’s purse strings. While WPP gives Kantar a lot of independence, he notes, large corporations are more reluctant to spend money. To date, comScore has invested heavily in new products. With WPP keeping an eye on its investment, he says, “ComScore might lose the ability to innovate as fast. Something to watch is how comScore will keep innovating and coming up with new solutions.”

Kuykendall thinks the deal will help companies like Pulpo Media, which, since it was acquired by Entravision last year, includes TV and radio properties as well as digital. “Advertisers are looking to see how different properties work together, and they want to see their investment across all those platforms and how each contributes to the ROI they’re getting.”

Nevertheless, he doesn’t see the Kantar/comScore combo as the ultimate measurement solution. I think one of the reasons WPP is investing in comScore is because it’s a hard problem to solve. Most advertisers and agencies would argue there is still a lot of work to be done.”


Susan has been covering digital media since they were invented. She began her career as a design writer and then became a senior reporter for Adweek, covering the launches of Google, Amazon, Overture and DoubleClick, among many others. She was a senior writer covering marketing for Business 2.0, and then helped found M-Business, a magazine about the mobile industry that, in 2001, was way before its time. Since 1993, she's reported on the internet, digital culture, technology and science. Her work has appeared in Mediapost, ClickZ and other digital publications, and she consults on content strategy for technology and financial clients from a home office in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Susan reside en la Bahía de San Francisco, muy cerca de Silicon Valley y ha cubierto los medios digitales desde que se inventaron. Empezó su carrera como reportera de diseño y luego ocupó la posición de reportera senior de Adweek, cubriendo los lanzamientos de Google, Amazon, Overture y Doubleclick, entre muchos otros. También fue reportera de mercadotecnia en la revista Business 2.0 y luego ayudó a fundar la revista M Business, una publicación sobre el Mercado del móvil que se lanzo antes de que llegara el auge de ese vehículo. Desde 1993 ha reporteado sobre Internet, cultura digital, tecnología y ciencia. Su trabajo ha aparecido en Mediapost, ClickZ y otras publicaciones digitales.

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