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WPP and LiveWorld – ads and online communities


From e-consultancy:

LiveWorld gets WPP cash injection
Ad giant WPP has continued its online spending spree, leading a $2m round of funding in internet marketing outfit LiveWorld.

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.

The move also follows WPP’s recent investment in online reputation monitoring firm Visible Technologies, whose CEO Adam Selig we interviewed earlier this month.

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…

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Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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