Interpublic and Facebook Forge Strategic Partnership
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 28, 2006–The Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced today that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Facebook, the social utility that allows people to share information online. As part of the agreement, Interpublic will participate in marketing programs on the website, including online advertising and promotions, as well as pilot programs involving sponsorships, consumer research and content creation on behalf of its clients. Interpublic has also agreed to acquire less than one-half of one percent of Facebook.
“The strategic partnership will give us access to the youth market and a platform from which to learn about the dynamics of social networks and participate in this increasingly important medium,” said Michael I. Roth, Chairman and CEO of Interpublic. “Facebook’s users represent a difficult-to-reach – but very key – audience for many of our clients. Young and tech-savvy consumers are increasingly shunning traditional media vehicles and defining themselves and their community online. Facebook is among the top ten most-trafficked sites in the United States. More than 65% of all college students have made it an important part of their lives and it is gaining popularity with the high school market. That’s why this alignment makes so much sense for us.”
“This relationship benefits both Facebook and Interpublic since we share the strategic focus on consumer insights into the youth market. With this focus, we will be able to deliver more innovative advertising solutions to all marketers,” said Mike Murphy, VP Media Sales at Facebook. “We look forward to working with a partner whose values match so well with our own.”
The agreement with Facebook is the latest in a series of recent initiatives undertaken by Interpublic to help its clients better understand and become involved in the changes in consumer behavior being driven by digital media. These initiatives include the launch of the company’s Emerging Media Lab, its Consumer Experience Practice and the User-Generated Content Practice announced yesterday at the Cannes Advertising Festival.
Facebook is the social utility that enables people to share information and gives them access to the information that is most relevant to them. Launched in February 2004, Facebook’s site has registered over 8 million people and, according to comScore, ranks as the seventh-most trafficked site in the United States. Nearly 50% of people registered on Facebook come back to the site daily and spend an average of 16 minutes. Facebook is privately held and headquartered in Palo Alto, CA.