According to the reports, Target Corp. is in process to buy a retail advertising firm named Triad Retail Media from WPP PLC to boost its digital advertising business.
Triad sells ad space on retail websites and other digital properties. It also assists brands to create digital ad campaigns.
In 2016, WPP’s digital ad-buying group Xaxis acquired Triad from private-equity firm Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC for roughly $300 million to capitalize on retailers’ growing ad businesses.
Retailers like Walmart Inc. and Target are increasingly selling ad space to brands, using data and insights to reach online shoppers. These companies are replicating the strategy of Amazon.com Inc., which has become a big seller of ad space. The e-commerce giant is the 3rd largest online ad seller in the U.S. after Google and Facebook Inc. According to eMarketer, Amazon’s U.S. ad business is expected to grow more than 50% this year to $11.3 billion.
Target recently held its own event during the NewFronts, an annual series of pitches to ad buyers that promote digital ad offerings for brands. The presentations typically come from online publishers.
In the event of rebranding its Target Media Network as Roundel, the company said, “Year over year, it’s been a source of profitable growth for Target”. Roundel services comprise using data to place ads on Target and other sites like Pinterest and PopSugar. The company also said that nearly 1,000 marketers including Walt Disney Co., Mastercard Inc. and Unilever PLC have advertised using Target.
Target, one of WPP’s large media-buying clients, may likely use Triad’s talent and system to increase its ad-sales efforts.
Similarly, big players including Walmart are investing in advertising business. Walmart is combining its in-store and digital ad teams and using shopper data to help sell inventory across platforms, including its video-streaming service Vudu. According to Reuters, Walmart is also planning to host an event later this month to pitch its marketing opportunities to brands.
In late last year, WPP said it was looking to sell a majority stake of market-research unit to Kantar Group. It also merged several agencies, forming new agency brands, including Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R.