Publicis Buys Big Fuel

Agency to become part of VivaKi

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Publicis Groupe has acquired 51 percent of New York-based social media agency Big Fuel with an option to increase its holding to 100 percent from 2014, according to TechCrunch. Ad Age originally reported that Publicis was in talks with Big Fuel last week.

Big Fuel will be part of Publicis’ VivaKi unit, which specializes in digital media, and will serve as a strategic “social media center” for some of Publicis’ other agency properties, including Digitas, Razorfish, Starcom MediaVest Group, and Zenith Optimedia.

Big Fuel describes itself as a “pure-play social-media agency designed for the needs of large brands,” and already shares a number of clients with Publicis, including Microsoft, GM, and McDonald’s. The company was founded in 2008 and currently employs 170 people. Its 2011 revenue is expected to reach nearly $30 million, says TechCrunch.

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.