French ad holding company Publicis Groupe has bought South Korea’s Portfolio, which describes itself as a full-service digital agency. In keeping with last year’s formation of its network of international digital agencies, Publicis Modem, the latest acquisition will be rebranded as Portfolio Modem. The “Modem” brand is related to Publicis’ $1.3 billion Dec. 2006 purchase of Digitas and its subsidiary Modem Media. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Portfolio is Publicis’ third Asian buyout. In May, Publicis bought Shanghai-based digital marketer EmporioAsia and last July, Publicis bought China’s Communication Central Group, one of the country’s largest online marketing agencies.
As the general ad market in the U.S. and Europe becomes increasingly constricted amid a wider economic downturn, the continued rise of Asian economies makes a strong presence their critical, Publicis Modem CEO Martin Reidy said in a statement. South Korea’s ad market, in particular, has been thriving over the past year. According to ZenithOptimedia, online ad spend grew nearly 40 percent in 2007 to take a 13.7 percent share of total ad spend of $10 billion. The buyout of Portfolio is also meant to complement existing Publicis agencies in Korea, including Publicis Welcomm and Publicis Dialog, Leo Burnett, Publicis Events Worldwide (Emotion), Saatchi & Saatchi and Starcom MediaVest Group (SC Seoul). Release (PDF)