Global giant WPP acquires specialist influencer marketing agency

By our News Team | 2023

Influencer marketing is increasingly a key growth priority for the marketing industry and for WPP, says CEO.

In yet another indication of how influencer marketing is being integrated into mainstream marketing strategies and scaled globally, one of the world’s largest advertising and communications groups – London-based WPP – has announced the acquisition of Goat.

Goat is a specialist influencer marketing agency based in the UK and US, but operating around the world with clients such as Meta, Uber and Dell.

Influencer Marketing

Illustration courtesy of Goat Agency

In recent years, Adweek magazine has recognised Goat as Europe’s fastest-growing agency, while The Drum magazine awarded it Social Media Agency of the Year and LinkedIn named it one of its top companies.

Goat will join GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, and merge with its influencer marketing business, called INCA, to create what the company says is “the industry’s first truly global influencer marketing agency with more than 300 employees in over 30 markets around the world”.

Clients want globally scaled and outcomes-driven capabilities

According to Christian Juhl, Global CEO of GroupM, influencer marketing is an exciting growth area for the business, and one in which clients are looking for globally scaled and outcomes-driven capabilities.

“The addition of Goat to GroupM … gives us the ability to deliver accountable, cross-channel and data-driven influencer solutions for clients anywhere in the world. Combined with the exceptional talent at INCA, we expect Goat to play a critical role in helping us define the next era of media at GroupM,” Juhl said.

Adds Mark Read, CEO of WPP: “Influencer marketing is a key growth priority for the industry and for WPP. Our clients are increasingly planning budgets at a global scale and require partners that have the global reach to help deliver, whilst driving engagement and impact at a local level. 

“Goat’s proven track record in the influencer marketing space, paired with GroupM’s record of excellence, will continue to build on our unparalleled expertise in this area.”

A forecast by research firm Insider Intelligence predicts that advertiser spend on influencers will top US$6-billion in 2023.

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.