WPP Group, although often innovative in its own right, is famed for not rushing into fashionable fads until a commercial paradigm is proven.

Search engine marketing, however, has unquestionably won its spurs and Sir Martin's troops are now invading the market worldwide with the formation of mSearch.

With forty-seven offices across the globe, the new network is based on the former AdvancePositions.com, acquired by WPP in 2001 and merged into OgilvyOne.

In the convoluted agency hierarchy, mSearch is a unit of mOne, itself part of OgilvyOne. At the helm of mSearch in a mirror role is Richard Collins, former ceo of mOne; while Mike Chowney, erstwhile managing director of AdvancePositions.com, is international head of the fledgling network.

It will focus on such arcana as pay-per-click advertising and keyword bids, as well as natural search optimisation (whatever that may mean).

And lest readers are as confused as this reporter, ceo Collins explains: "AdvancePositions.com was a dotcom brand, and we felt it didn't encapsulate the global reach of our specialist search engine marketing business.

"In recent months, there has been a definite consolidation and globalisation of the market, and mSearch is ideally placed to take leadership."


Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff