NEW YORK: Interpublic Group, the advertising agency holding company, has formed a new online advertising partnership with Microsoft, the IT giant.
Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft will be the first port of call for a range of services linked to web-based campaigns developed by agencies like McCann-Erickson and Deutsch.
More specifically, Atlas Worldwide, which offers a range of ad serving and analytic tools, will become the "default" system utilised by these shops.
IPG boasts global annual billings of around $30 billion (€21.9bn; £19.2bn), and holds accounts for major marketers including Coca-Cola, Dunkin' Donuts, Volkswagen and Wal-Mart.
Alongside creating bespoke applications for IPG's clients, Microsoft will use its "engagement mapping" system to assess the impact of communications.
This approach is argued to show how "each ad exposure – whether display, rich media or search, seen multiple times on multiple sites and across many channels – influenced an eventual purchase."
While Interpublic's agencies and their clients will still be able to work with Google, Yahoo and other rival operators, Microsoft will take on a preferred status.
Scott Howe, corporate vice president of Microsoft's advertising and publisher solutions arm, said "we take this as a sign that we're a good partner and that it's a sign of future things to come."
Quentin George, chief digital officer at Mediabrands, IPG's media buying arm, said that partnerships of this kind are likely to become a major feature of the landscape going forward.
"We've figured out that we have to use technology to make buying, selling, and trading work better for brands," he said. "We'll see a much more digitally dynamic environment in the future."
"[Microsoft] creates platforms that give subject experts opportunities to innovate on them," he added. "This gives us the ability to shape more of our own future."
Data sourced from Forbes; additional content by Warc staff