WPP has made another purchase, buying marketing services shop Valentine-McCormick-Ligibel in Kansas City, Missouri for an undisclosed price.

VML employs 200 staff and boasts billings of over $114 million from clients including American Express, Sprint and Coca-Cola. The agency becomes an autonomous unit of WPP, with Matt Anthony and Scott McCormick retaining their respective posts of chief executive and president.

The purchase fits in with WPP ceo Sir Martin Sorrell’s strategy to increase the group's presence in marketing services, thought to be more profitable than traditional advertising.

Hot on the heels of AOL Time Warner ceo Gerald Levin’s announcement that ad revenues were stabilising [WAMN: 21-Jun-01], the acquisition helped push WPP’s shares up 11 pence on Friday morning to 663.5p.

News source: New York Times