'Big four' ad agency Interpublic marks mobile's might with Kiip investment

Real rewards network gaining momentum

'Big four' ad agency Interpublic marks mobile's might with Kiip investment
In late 2012, real rewards network Kiip closed a funding round worth $11 million.

One of those investors, it turns out, was global advertising agency Interpublic (or IPG), and the two companies have now announced a strategic partnership that will see IPG introduce marketers to Kiip's real rewards platform.

Commentators are already branding the deal a sign of the growing interest in the mobile advertising industry - a form of advertising once perceived as likely to annoy scores of consumers.

According to Kiip CEO Brian Wong, however, the deal is further "validation" of mobile's position as a major driver for ad revenue.

'Major moment'

For Kiip itself, Kong said IPG's involvement marks "a major moment" in the company's history.

"By having a partner like IPG and the innovative team at the IPG Media Lab join us, we expect to see accelerated global growth with top-tier marketers who are looking to engage with mobile consumers," Wong explained.

"Having launched just over a year ago, the traction we have made introducing a new advertising model to major brands is remarkable and the potential of rewards-based communications with a connected consumer is nearly limitless."

Big four

The deal has taken on added significance because IPG is considered one of the 'big four' advertising agencies worldwide, employing 43,500 people in more than 100 countries, and boasting a market cap in excess of $5 billion.

And in Kiip, IPG apparently sees an opportunity to "help our clients find new pathways to consumer engagement."

"IPG Mediabrands and the IPG Media Lab identified Kiip as a key player in the increasingly important mobile market, with a thoughtful and effective model that connects brands with the modern consumer," explained Interpublic CEO Michael I. Roth.

IPG's partnership with Kiip will be led by the IPG Media Lab division of IPG Mediabrands.

Staff Writer's news editor 2012-2013