WPP and Publicis are competing to acquire Razorfish
, reports PaidContent. That means two things: One of them will be forced to pay more than Razorfish is worth in order to get it; and it will be personal. WPP chief Martin Sorrell
and Publicis boss Maurice Levy have a longstanding — and highly entertaining — personal rivalry.
, the largest advertising group in Japan, has jumped into the fray as Microsoft
opened the books to bidders for its Razorfish agency this week. WPP and Publicis
, the rival communications groups, had already been considering an offer for Razorfish, a digital marketing specialist which could fetch around $600m to $700m.
A Digital Agency … But That’s Not All…
There are a lot of players talking to Microsoft about Razorfish, among them Publicis, Dentsu, WPP, Omnicom
, Interpublic and AKQA
‘s private-equity investor, General Atlantic. But to best the field, the winning suitor will likely have to fork over more than money to the agency’s owner, which is looking for “strategic assets,” such as a commitment to buy its advertising offerings or use its technologies.
Microsoft is offering hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ad space to the potential buyer of its digital agency Razorfish as its pitches the deal to the likes of WPP, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe
, Dentsu and Interpublic Group
, which are all said to have expressed interest.
But Will It Happen?
Yet the chances of a deal being struck in the near term remain remote, according to analysts. For one, the acquisitions market is moribund, with credit still hard to come by for an acquisition that would cost between $600 million and $800 million. Razorfish generated revenue of $408 million last year. WPP, in particular, would seem unlikely to have the financial wherewithal to make an acquisition, after shelling out nearly $1 billion on digital acquisitions over the past few years. It is still in the throes of integrating TNS
, too. Even as Sorrell expressed interest, he said WPP earmarked about $160 million for acquisitions, a fraction of what it would take to get Razorfish. That leaves Publicis as the only likely candidate to take on Razorfish.
Facebook’s Naked Reality: Social Networks Research Insights
It’s already an established phenomenon that in the social networking era friendship is more virtual and 6 degrees of separation has now been reduced to mere 3 degrees. However, seminal work of Dr. Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist, concluded that the cognitive power of the brain limits the size of the social network that an individual of any given species can develop. Extrapolating from the brain sizes and social networks of apes, Dr Dunbar suggested that the size of the human brain allows stable networks of about 148. Rounded to 150, this has become famous as “the Dunbar number”. However the Dunbar number represents a person’s wider network. The actual number of individuals that represents his social “core network” with whom individuals “can discuss important matters”, numbers only 3 for Americans.
Wieden & Kennedy, London, the latest agency to get involved in the product-design game, is launching a range of co-branded products to be sold globally via traditional retailers and online. The products have been created in partnership with design group Suck UK, which specializes in “products with a twist,” and novelty-gift company Worldwide Co. In the U.K. the products are bei
Asda has launched a range of beef for carbon-conscious customers that is produced by using a third less CO2 than normal beef. The saving comes from slaughtering the animals at the age of nine to 11 months old, much sooner than the average 24-month lifespan of standard cattle.
AdAge: Razorfish Names Bob Lord CEO
Razorfish has named Bob Lord its new CEO, with Clark Kokich moving to chairman. The Microsoft-owned digital shop elevated Lord (pictured) to global chief executive from president of Razorfish’s East region. He served in that role for four years and has held other posts at the agency, including leading its Latin America business.
Razorfish Tries Out TV
Razorfish, the Microsoft-owned digital agency, kicked off a TV and Web promotion for All detergent that began last night during Celebrity Apprentice. A 30-second spot directed viewers to all-laundry.com to see a pair of Internet videos Razorfish created with Celebrity Apprentice contestants Joan and Melissa Rivers. It marks the first time the 14-year-old digital agency has created a TV commercial for national broadcast.
“All just recently put its creative account into review. While BBH
is the incumbent, it ended up goin to Lowe. However, wouldn’t it have been rad if Razorfish just snuck in there and took the booty? Forget about whether you like or hate the spot. Isn’t just a wee bit exciting to see a digital agency is now just an agency and vice versa? Lines are blurring left and right.”
Michael Harper from Razorfish had a profound experience last night . He said was OK for me to share on this blog:
“Last night I had the strangely compelling but deeply awkward experience of watching someone liveblogging the end of his relationship via twitter. You can watch the action from the bottom in the screengrab below… I find the progression, the unfolding to be very striking… as well, of course, as the fact that he did it on twitter. Not sure what I think about it (also not sure they’re going to stay broken up, being a romantic and an optimist) and I won’t muddle the experience with my own commentary, but it felt worth sharing.”
I don’t know the protagonists and supporting cast, but it all strikes me as being a bit public (and a bit neurotic) … like when couples start having theatrical arguments in public, causing everyone around to wince with embarrassment. It makes me wonder if this is an extension of “offline” behavior by this couple, or a new behavior prompted by digitization …