Viacom Acquired Influencer Marketing Shop Whosay

The media giant is seeking to expand its efforts beyond ‘tentpole’ events


Media giant Viacom is dipping its toes in the influencer marketing waters, announcing an agreement Monday to acquire Whosay.

Terms of the transaction were not revealed, nor were any plans to reduce headcount at the New York-based influencer marketing shop.

The two companies have a history together, as Whosay has worked with Viacom on more than 50 campaigns, including one for last November’s BET Soul Train Awards featuring singer and songwriter LeToya Luckett and another featuring hip-hop star Lil Yachty and actor Keegan Allen for the MTV Movie & TV Awards last May.

Viacom said in a release announcing the deal that it will combine the media company’s global content engine, diverse audience and advertising tools with Whosay’s “precision ability to seamlessly match brand objectives with talent and creative,” highlighting the influencer marketing firm’s Match platform, a proprietary technology that helps brands find the most appropriate talent to work with, and its Whosay Shopper team’s brick-and-mortar retailer offerings.

Meanwhile, Whosay CEO Steve Ellis said in a blog post announcing the transaction that becoming part of the Viacom team would enable his company to continue along its path, but on a larger scale.

Viacom head of marketing and partner solutions Sean Moran told Alexandra Bruell of The Wall Street Journal that his company wanted to expands its influencer marketing efforts beyond “tentpole events,” adding, “We needed some engine to allow us to do this on a 52-week basis.”

Moran also cited Whosay’s ability to get campaigns up and running quickly, telling Bruell the goal was to complete the process in as little as two days and adding, “We’ll be able to play that solutions role that’s not going to take six weeks to two months. We’re not looking to compete with agencies. We see what we do as a complement to them. They’re building multimillion-dollar creative campaigns. We’re executing in much smaller ways with clients, but very effective.”

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