J Walter Thompson has acquired a majority stake in Sydney-based digital agency Webling Interactive.
Webling, which has a 30-strong staff, specialises in brand experiences through web, mobile, social and experiential and offers end to end service strategy, design and development.
The agency’s clients include Acer, Amex, CommSec, Coca Cola, Fuji Xerox and Google.
Webling was founded in 2004 by Deniz Nalbantoglu and Darren Clark, who will stay on in their respective current roles of managing director and technical director.
JWT Australia and New Zealand CEO John Gutteridge said the acquisition comes at a time when Australian companies are allocating a fast-growing share of marketing budgets to digital.
“[Nalbantoglu and Clark] have created and sustained a terrific business over the years driven by an instinctive and inquisitive appreciation for technology and its application for marketing and advertising,” Gutteridge said.
“We have worked with the team at Webling across multiple projects for a few years now. Our collective skills will help broaden and deepen our offering and, importantly, enable us to realise some exciting plans in the near future.”
In an announcement on the London Stock Exchange, WPP – parent organisation of JWT, along with STW which holds a minority stake in the business – said the acquisition “marks a further step towards WPP's declared goal of developing its networks in fast-growth markets and sectors.”
Nalbantoglu said he and Clark knew this was the right opportunity for them as soon as they experienced the incredibly strong alignment between JWT and Webling.
Speaking to AdNews, Nalbantoglu said: " We are very excited here at Webling and after working on a couple of projects with JWT we knew it felt right and were impressed with their culture and vision."
Other Webling clients include Mirvac, QIC Shopping Centres and Australian gardening supplies company, Yates. Webling’s “My Garden” app for Yates recently won Australia’s prestigious IAB creative showcase award,and took home the Best Digital Advertising Award in the lifestyle category from the Digital Industry Association of Australia’s AIMIA Awards.
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