GroupM Adds The Exchange Lab to Its Stable

WPP media organization gains key talent, technology in the deal

WPP's GroupM has added The Exchange Lab, a marketing technology firm, to the fold in a move that boosts its programmatic capabilities.

The Exchange Lab is best known for its proprietary trading platform, Proteus, which unifies all demand side exchanges and platforms—such as AppNexus, MediaMath and The Trade Desk—into a single touch-point for greater insight and efficiency. By integrating Proteus into GroupM, the company believes it can improve the measurement and allocation of client budgets across all of its programmatic partners.

With 130 employees in London, New York, Singapore and other markets, The Exchange Lab will be housed within Connect, GroupM's worldwide data and technology organization (rebranded from GroupM Interaction in May). Connect has 2,000 staffers and operates in more than 50 countries. The Exchange Lab will maintain its unique brand and continue working for clients including Virgin Holidays, Volkswagen, A&W, Glasses Direct and Vue Entertainment.

"Adding The Exchange Lab's talent and proprietary technology accelerates our development," said Connect chief executive Rudiger Wanck. "Likewise, GroupM's unparalleled scale and innovative media partnerships will terrifically enhance The Exchange Lab's client services."


Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Exchange Lab CEO and co-founder James Aitken is stepping down, succeeded by executive chairman Chris Dobson. Co-founder Tim Webster continues as chief strategy officer.

Among the major holding companies, WPP has been notably acquisitive this year, making several moves to enhance GroupM's operations. Last month, Essence Digital—one of Google's key global agency partners—joined GroupM's portfolio, and Greenhouse Group, a data-driven digital marketing company, came aboard in June.