J. Walter Thompson Australia acquires majority stake in Aussie digital agency Webling Interactive

Webling team August 2015 (1).jpgJ. Walter Thompson Australia has acquired a majority stake in Webling Interactive, an award-winning independent digital agency based in Sydney.
Webling offers an end-to-end service covering strategy, ideation, design and development across web, mobile, social, digital OOH and experiential channels. The agency has delivered milestone projects such as the ground-breaking Tic Tac Shake & Share app; the first mobile peer-to-peer engagement campaign of its kind, an industry-first shopping app for Coles,  Coca Cola Amatil's multichannel ordering platform and a mobile led augmented reality campaign for Fanta that has won many major awards including IABs, AIMIA and Festival of Media.

The agency's clients include Acer, Amex, CommSec, Coca Cola, Coles, Fuji Xerox, Google, Mirvac, QIC Shopping Centres and Australian gardening supplies company, Yates. Webling's "My Garden" app for Yates recently won Australia's prestigious IAB creative showcase award, and took home the "Best Digital Advertising Award, in the lifestyle category, from the Digital Industry Association of Australia's AIMIA Awards.
The agency was founded in 2004 by Deniz Nalbantoglu (above, left) and Darren Clark (above, right), who will stay on in their respective current roles of managing director and technical director after the acquisition.
Says John Gutteridge (above, centre), CEO, J. Walter Thompson's Australia and New Zealand: "Deniz and Darren, along with the team have much to be proud of. They have created and sustained a terrific business over the years driven by an instinctive and inquisitive appreciation for technology and its application for marketing and advertising.  We have worked with the team at Webling across multiple projects for a few years now. Our collective skills will help broaden and deepen our offering and importantly enable us to realize some exciting plans in the near future."
Australian companies are allocating a fast-growing share of their marketing budgets to digital marketing. Online advertising, including paid search, mobile and internet advertising, accounted for 38% total ad spend in Australia in 2014, up from 17% in 2010, according to Mindshare. That figure is forecast to hit 42% this year.
Says Nalbantoglu: "Darren and I knew that this was the right opportunity for us as soon as we experienced the incredibly strong alignment between JWT and Webling. The two agencies complement each other perfectly from a skills and services point of view, but even more importantly our cultures are so similar, with key values being almost identical. We both strongly advocate collaboration, passion and curiosity, and truly stand behind these values."


** Breaking News ** said:

"Old fashioned, multi-national agency swallows up digital agency in desperate attempt to remain relevant".

@breaking news said:

What's wrong with an acquisition strategy? Isn't this what companies around the world do across every industry to ensure their ongoing competitiveness? Stop being so cynical and support the industry that employees you. I'm sure JWT's global relationships are healthy and create a pipeline of work in Asia Pac that Webling can help grow further.

I reckon said:

The name JWT was better - J. Walter Thompson sounds like a company that makes really nice toilets.

Funny said:

JWT is built to run out regional ads for global clients. Digital is not a thing you can buy in, its a mentality and the organisation has to change to adapt to be digital first..

Ex JWT said:

@Funny, you've succinctly (and more tactfully) articulated what @Breakingnews said. I can see this acquisition going the way of similar multi-national approaches. Badly.

Drop in the ocean said:

A 20 person digital shop is a very small digital acquisition. Good luck.

Wolf said:

JWT are actually awesome people. With Jay, Simon and Webbly they are gonna do cool stuff i'm sure.

You guys are just sad old cunts.

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