New Company Ansible to Operate Globally as Independent Unit and Shared Resource for all Interpublic Agencies
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 16, 2007--Interpublic (NYSE: IPG) announced today that it has formed Ansible, a dedicated mobile marketing agency, in a joint venture with Velti (LSE: VEL), a leading mobile technology provider. Ansible will be a stand-alone unit that will partner with agencies throughout the holding company and be a part of Interpublic's recently created Futures Marketing Group.
Ansible will be led by Vladimir Edelman as chief executive officer. A mobile marketing veteran, Mr. Edelman joins the company from Soapbox Mobile, a leading provider of full-service mobile marketing solutions, where he served as chief executive officer. Prior to that, he served as vice president and general manager of Mobile ESPN Publishing Worldwide. Mr. Edelman's past experience includes executive positions at CBS, FOX, Time Warner and MSNBC.
Larry Harris, formerly executive vice president, director of integrated marketing for Draftfcb, will join Ansible as president. Mr. Harris most recently led the Interpublic/Facebook.com collaborative team, which helped clients and IPG agencies develop innovative research and marketing programs that leveraged the popular social networking platform for competitive advantage. Prior to Draftfcb, Mr. Harris founded and ran FCBi Digital, where he led online strategies and creative development for a broad array of clients, including AT&T, HP, Merck, MetLife, JPMorganChase and Qwest.
Based in New York, Ansible will be a provider of mobile marketing solutions to Interpublic agencies and clients. The company will work with brands, agencies and content providers to develop and deploy mobile advertising and marketing programs. Ansible will offer mobile strategy, creative development and campaign management, leveraging best-in-class technology and expertise. The company will operate in North America, Europe and Asia and will utilize Velti's proprietary services and mobile marketing technology in all markets.
"Mobile is a crucial medium that increasingly bridges traditional media channels to provide fully integrated client solutions," said Michael I. Roth, chairman and chief executive officer of Interpublic. "The pace at which marketing dollars will flow to emerging media that are accountable and cost efficient will continue to accelerate. The power of mobile marketing can now be seamlessly incorporated into the multi-channel solutions that all of our companies must provide to our clients to meet their evolving needs."
"Mobile is a new way of life," said Mr. Edelman. "It presents a new way of connecting with consumers; helping consumers connect with each other; and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of other media. We look forward to working with agencies and clients to create innovative mobile solutions for their brands." Mr. Harris added that "Mobile is a key medium for many of our clients, and with Ansible we are positioned to offer best in class service in this emerging channel."
"We evaluated more than 40 mobile services providers and decided to work with Velti because of their best-of-breed technology platform and their extensive operator experience," said Bant Breen, president of the Futures Marketing Group. "As a new company within the Futures Marketing Group, Ansible will complement our stable of emerging media resources, which include Reprise Media, and partners such as the Interpublic Emerging Media Lab, Spot Runner and Facebook."
Alexandros Moukas, chief executive officer of Velti, added, "We are very excited to be forging a strategic relationship with Interpublic through Ansible. Mobile is poised to experience explosive growth over the next few years, offering unparallel targeting and reach. Velti's technology and service capabilities coupled with Interpublic's clients, brand reach and footprint make Ansible the first complete global offering in mobile marketing."
Interpublic is one of the world's leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. Major global brands include Draftfcb, FutureBrand, GolinHarris International, Initiative, Jack Morton Worldwide, Lowe Worldwide, MAGNA Global, McCann Erickson, Momentum, MRM Worldwide, Octagon, Universal McCann and Weber Shandwick. Leading domestic brands include Campbell-Ewald, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, Mullen, The Martin Agency and R/GA. For more information, please visit www.interpublic.com.
Velti is a leading mobile platforms and service provider that enables mobile advertising, marketing and mobile content. With offices in London, New York, Boston and Athens and more than 200 employees, Velti operates in 10 countries and its more than 100 corporate customers include major mobile network operators, advertising agencies and media groups. Velti is a publicly traded company listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information please visit www.velti.com
Philippe Krakowsky, 212-704-1328
Jerry Leshne, 212-704-1439