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JWT strengthens presence in Finland; acquires majority stake in Activeark Oy

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MUMBAI: Continuing on its acquisition spree, global media communications giant WPP has acquired majority stake in Finnish digital ad agency Activeark Oy through its global agency network JWT.

Following the deal, Activeark?s staff of 80 people will merge with JWT Helsinki?s staff of 30 to become Activeark JWT Oy. The Activeark operations in the UK and India will also assume the new name.

Activeark Oy is a nine year-old full-service digital agency based in Helsinki and has operations in the UK and India.

JWT said in a statement that this is one of the most significant European acquisitions for JWT in recent history and will create a new brand for clients seeking an exciting proposition for their communication.

JWT Europe CEO Toby Hoare said, "This is a major step towards us achieving our ambitions in Finland. The merger catapults Activeark JWT to a top three marketing agency in Finland and brings together a respected global, well-established brand expert with a leading, fast growing, digital marketing agency. We know we will do great and exciting things together as one team."

According to the new structure, Activeark Markus CEO Hakala will become Activeark JWT Oy CEO, while JWT Helsinki MD Jean Gallen will be chairman of the Board and will operatively be in charge of client service. Activeark founder Robin Bade will be responsible for development and overall quality of the service offering and all the current owners of the digital agency will continue in their operational positions.

Hakala added, "The merger is a natural answer to client requests and needs. It?s time to stop talking about digital and traditional roles. Consumers? media consumption is rapidly and constantly changing, and brands need to cope with this to survive. In our new set-up we will be able to deliver customer experiences in all channels, both online and offline."

Bade added, "Market change requires transformations at the agencies. I believe we are now in a strong position to provide holistic business solutions to our clients and to design superior experiences for consumers. I am therefore delighted for us to join such a network as JWT and together build a story around our complementary skills."

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