Publicis Groupe today announced the acquisition of Net@lk, one of China’s leading social media services providers.
Specialising in delivering tailor-made social influence marketing campaigns to clients and building brands in a social context, Net@lk is a group comprised of four stand-alone business divisions: Net@lk and Simone, providing social media services; Lenx, producing social content; and Buzzreader, engaging in social intelligence including monitoring, research and analytics, covering most social platforms in China, such as Weibo, Renren, Youku, Taobao, and WeChat.
Founded in 2007 Shanghai’s Net@lk has aggressively grown and now employs a team of over 350 people in six cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Hefei,Chengdu, Nanjing, Xiamen) offering research, insight, strategic planning, branded content creation, engagement, and analytics in the realm of social media. Net@lk services more than 200 clients both local and multinational, including Coca Cola, Pernod Ricard, Walmart and Adidas – all of which have been with the agency from the year of its creation.
Net@lk and Lenx will be aligned with DigitasLBi, creating one of the largest agencies in China developing socially-connected consumer engagement strategies to drive business results. Simone will be merged with the social media division of Razorfish, strengthening its existing capabilities, and Buzzreader will be aligned with VivaKi, making this social intelligence capability available to the entire Publicis Groupe. The move follows a number of recent acquisitions announced by Publicis Groupe and further strengthens the Groupe’s presence in China as well as its global digital leadership. Existing Net@lk CEO Lamy Zhang will lead the newly merged DigitasLBi Net@lk operation, and will report to Roy Capon, CEO of DigitasLBi APAC.
“We committed to grow our digital marketing capabilities in China on the dual strategic pillars of ecommerce and social media,” said Vincent Digonnet, Executive Chairman of Razorfish and DigitasLBi networks in APAC. “The acquisition of Longtuo in May 2012 enhanced Razorfish’s ecommerce development capability and the acquisition of Net@lk completes our two-pronged strategy making DigitasLBi the leading socially-led digital marketing network in China.”
"We are proud to join a group as steeped in history and success as Publicis Groupe and see this as the most exciting step in our onward journey,” added Lamy Zhang. “We look forward to bringing full digital marketing and e-commerce capabilities to our clients and continuing to pioneer social media expertise in China.”
Jean-Yves Naouri, COO, Publicis Groupe, commented, “The Net@lk acquisition is another realisation of the Publicis Groupe strategy for digital leadership in China, demonstrating our commitment to developing our networks in fast-growing markets and sectors. Net@lk bolsters our existing team expertise providing both our local and multinational clients best-in-class services.”
The Groupe counts 84 agencies in China with a total headcount of 6,300 permanent staff through its brands Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, VivaKi, MSLGROUP, PHCG, DigitasLBi and Razorfish.view more - Hires, Wins & Business