The move comes after WPP and LiveWorld formed a joint venture in July, with both firms saying they have seen growing demand for marketing services focusing on online communities.
LiveWorld has developed social networking applications such as blogs and messageboards for firms including MTV Latin America and eBay.
“In less than two months since announcing the LiveWorld-WPP joint venture, we have already closed new community marketing programs with major brands,” said Mark Read, strategy director, WPP and CEO of wpp.com.
Other participants in the investment included Abundance Partners, several partners of Allegis Capital, a California-based venture capital firm with an existing position in LiveWorld, and several partners in the DragonBridge, a fund focused on the development of new business in China.
WPP also recently bought into video game advertising company WildTangent, and is expected to make more investments in the new media space later this year.
Dunno how brilliant it is to team a gungho advertising company with online communities – it’s so hard to pull the reins in on that lot – but LiveWorld have an interesting background:
LiveWorld’s team brings over 20 years of experience in creating and operating online communities
We created and operated Apple’s AppleLink and eWorld online services, and the original America Online service. We helped design and launch Salon, and created and operated Talk City. Today, LiveWorld creates and operates community services for Fortune 1000 brands such as A&E, AOL, Campbell’s, eBay, HBO, MINI USA, MTV, QVC, TV Guide and more. Our entire team of experienced professionals is focused on one area of specialization: creating and operating successful online customer communities and social networking. Our Team.
Heh. I was a devotee of most of those early communities from their small beginnings. I loved both eWorld and AppleLink and The Well etc. Back in the late 80’s if I remember rightly. And Salon – wasn’t there a web soap opera outta them? Miranda’s Mind (ed: Madeline’s Mind) or something? Ah how time flies by…