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Publicis buys social media agency in China, WPP swoops for Bangladesh research firm

Two of adland’s largest holding companies announced acquisitions in Asia today.

Publicis Groupe has bought a social media agency in China and rival WPP has swooped for a research firm in Bangladesh.

Publicis Groupe’s new company is named Net@lk, a China-based social media firm of 350 people.

The agency is made up of four units – Net@lk and Simone both provides social media services, Lenx produces social content and Buzzreader offers social media analysis across platforms such as Weibo, Renren, Youku, Taobao, and WeChat.

Net@lk and Lenx will be aligned with DigitasLBi, Simone will be merged with Razorfish and Buzzreader aligned with Vivaki.

Net@lk boss Lamy Zhang will lead the newly merged DigitasLBi Net@lk operation. He will report to DigitasLBi APAC Roy Capon.

WPP’s Bangladesh acquisition is Sirius Marketing & Social Research, a market research firm that will be aligned with the company’s consumer insight and data investment arm Kantar.

Sirius was founded in 1995 by Amer Abdul Wahab. The business is based in Dhaka with six field offices across the country. It has 82 people and clients including GSK, Grameen Phone, Ispahani Group, Robi Axiata and Unilever.

Bangladesh is a market of interest for WPP boss Martin Sorrell, who counts the South Asian country among one of the “next 11” high-growth economies to watch.

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