Omnicom Group has taken a stake in New Zealand’s Shift, a digital marketing and web design company. Terms were not disclosed. Apart from expressing a desire to export some of Shift’s “kiwi know-how,” the investment represents the growing importance of the Asia Pacific region to the major ad holding companies. Shift will be working with Omnicom creative unit TBWA and its digital subsidiary Tequila, as well as Agency.com. For the past year, Omnicom has been considering whether or not to break Tequila out on its own as a stand alone shop.
While not as aggressive as rival WPP Group in striking deals with unaffiliated shops, Omnicom has been quietly stepping up plans for greater digital activity. Still, the company has tended to look inward rather than outside for enhancing its digital offerings – with notable exceptions such as its investment in virtual world ad specialist Millions of Us last year. This past summer, the company formed OMG Digital, which oversees about $2 billion worth of web-based media spending. A few weeks ago, Sean Finnegan left his post as CEO of OMG Digital to become chief media officer of in-text advertising start-up Vibrant Media. Release