London-headquartered WPP Group - the world's second largest agency holding company (after Omnicom) - is poised to buy a controlling interest in up to five Chinese advertising and public relations companies, according to Joseph Wang Shao-jie, group managing director for Hong Kong and Southern China at WPP's Ogilvy & Mather.

Shao-jie indicated that the shops in question are based in the conurbations of Najing, Guangdong, Chengdu and Hainan. They all specialize in the health care industry.

China is currently the planet's fastest growing advertising market and the current apple of Sir Martin Sorrell's eye. The WPP ceo recently predicted the vast nation will be among the world's top three ad markets by 2014.

"WPP will continue to increase its business portfolio in China and deliver the best service to our clients from every aspect," promises Sorrell. Local observers believe that within three years WPP will have doubled its headcount in China to around two thousand.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff