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Publicis Groupe acquires Longtuo to boost China presence

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MUMBAI: Publicis Groupe has acquired Beijing-based Longtuo, a digital marketing company.

Longtup will be part of the Groupe-owned Razorfish network and will be named Razorfish Longtuo China.

The acquisition of Longtuo will give Publicis Groupe more commanding clout in China‘s e-Commerce market, which Forrester projects to be a $94.6 billion business in 2012. eMarketer estimates the market to grow at more than 92 per cent annually for the next three years and forecasts China to become the world‘s largest e-Commerce marketplace by 2015.

The acquisition of Longtuo is another step towards Publicis Groupe‘s objective to double its size in the Chinese market between 2010 and 2013. This is part of an overall strategy of strongly boosting revenue derived from emerging economies and from the digital sector.

Longtup has eCommerce expertise in creative, customer acquisition, marketing solutions and measurement tools.

This is the fourth agency that the Publicis Groupe has acquired in china over the past four months, the other three being UBS (February 2012), King Harvests (March 2012) and Luminous (March 2012). Since 2010, the Groupe has acquired W&K (April 2010) G4 (July 2010) Eastwei Relations (November 2010), Interactive Communications Ltd (February 2011), Dreams (May 2011), Genedigi (June 2011), Wangfan (November 2011), and Gomye (November 2011).

Longtuo was founded in 2000 and today it employs 200 people across its three offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The addition of Longtuo will more than double the size of Razorfish in China, which currently employs 130 people and provides e-Commerce services to clients such as Converse, Hertz, and GM Onstar.

The digital marketing firm has on its roster of clients brands like 360buy, Kohler, Masamaso, Taobao and Yves Rocher. Longtuo has also done work for Renaulton on a contract basis providing website development and content management, as well as traffic measurement and analysis.

Publicis Groupe COO and Publicis Groupe China chairman Jean-Yves Naouri said, "China has the potential to become the world‘s largest e-Commerce market very swiftly, outstripping even the United States. This acquisition means we‘re now perfectly positioned to offer our clients first-in-class local expertise. The Groupe is accelerating our drive to meet our ambitious targets for growth in China."

Longtuo CEO and founding partner Su Yi will serve as managing director of Razorfish Longtuo China, and will report to Razorfish Asia Pacific president and Razorfish Greater China executive chairman Vincent Digonnet.

"The Longtuo acquisition establishes Razorfish as a Chinese leader in digital marketing services. By integrating Longtuo with Razorfish, we are expanding the e-Commerce services we deliver to our multinational clients, while providing all local and global marketers a comprehensive offer and proprietary tools that extend across the entire e-Commerce consumer journey," said Razorfish CEO and member of the VivaKi board of directors Bob Lord.

"The alignment of Longtuo and Razorfish in China combines two growing concerns to create a market leading e-Commerce partner for a rapidly expanding roster of clients. We are thrilled to leverage the scale and clout of Publicis Groupe to build a stronger proposition for our clients," said SU Yi.

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