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WPP's Data Alliance expands with Africa launch; Tighe named MD

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MUMBAI: WPP’s Data Alliance has launched in Africa. The launch is aligned to WPP's strategic vision of helping clients better leverage data in fast growing markets. 

Devon Tighe, previously vice president of strategy and operations for Data Alliance, heads the new office as managing director. 

Based in Cape Town, the operation will bring expertise from WPP's global network to Sub-Saharan Africa to harness unique data sets and mobile opportunities. The focus is to accelerate development and enhancement of data-driven solutions, plus activate a mobile-first data strategy.

Local WPP companies Ogilvy, Smollan, Acceleration, Barrows, Wunderman's Aqua and TMARC came together as sponsoring members to help bring Data Alliance to the region. Together, these companies will work closely on projects to enhance the usage of data across WPP solutions, in turn increasing speed, cross-fertilization and decreasing costs.

This launch is part of a campaign in WPP for "data horizontality" - the ability to better leverage WPP's people, data and technology across the globe. This model works particularly well in the United States and United Kingdom where Data Alliance is supported by Kantar, GroupM, WPP Digital, Wunderman, KBM Group, JWT, Cohn & Wolfe and Geometry Global. To date, Data Alliance has had success in helping WPP companies better access and leverage data in ways that are more organized, efficient, effective and drive value for clients.

“We are thrilled to help bring Data Alliance to Africa. How we use data more effectively across marketing communications is becoming an increasingly critical part of the conversation with our clients - both in South Africa and across the rest of the continent. We see Data Alliance as a powerful way to help us win competitive advantage for all our clients across a very broad range of data requirements,” said Ogilvy managing director digital portfolio Ben Evans.

“We look at Africa as a region in which we can do some very modern and progressive things with data, in particular with mobile data. The launch of the Cape Town office is in response to client demand to grow data-driven capabilities in Sub-Saharan Africa. We know that by bringing together a strategic group of companies in Africa, we can help WPP's agencies better serve clients through data connections that drive smarter decision making,” added Tighe.

Tighe brings more than 10 years of experience in the colliding worlds of media and analytics to the role. Prior to joining Data Alliance, Tighe was a research director at The New York Times where she focused on business strategy and customer analytics. Before heading to the Times, she spent six years in research and product development at Dynamic Logic, now part of Millward Brown Digital, a company within WPP's Kantar unit.

In Africa, WPP companies (including associates) generate revenues of approximately $650 million and employ over 28,000 people.

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