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WPP, Nook, Phunware: News briefs

WPP supports mobile strategies on a global scale with Globant deal
Advertising company WPP has acquired a 20 percent stake in Buenos Aires-based agency Globant for approximately $70 million. The company collaborates with large brands on digital marketing strategies that include mobile, gamification, social networks, cloud computing, big data and ecommerce.

Globant?s clients include American Express, LinkedIn, Electronic Arts, Google and Coca-Cola. It provides both technical expertise as well as design and creative capabilities in the development of software products that can be applied to digital marketing campaigns on a global scale.

The move will help WPP further strengthen its digital capabilities in markets such as Latin American, the United States and Britain.

The deal points to increasing demands from brands for better coordination between their IT and marketing departments to make their digital marketing efforts more effective and simpler to manage at both the front and back ends.

Phunware acquires TapIt to create new mobile ad network for apps
App developer Phuware has acquired mobile ad network TapIt Media Group for $23 million. The deal closed on Dec. 28, 2012.

The deal will result in the creation of TapIt by Phunware, a branded mobile advertising network and mobile-as-a-service monetization module for iOS and Android mobile apps. The network will represent the core of Phunware?s cloud-based mobile advertising platform.

TapIt currently supports more than 6 billion ad impressions per month in more than 220 countries and has more than 30,000 active publishers. The network offers self-service media buying, real-time bidding, cross-platform ad creation and dynamic ad serving.

Nook ereader, tablets sales were down over the holiday
Barnes & Noble reports that revenue for its Nook digital business segment declined 12.6 percent for the nine-week holiday period ended Dec. 29, 2012. Revenues for the segment totaled $311 million during this period.

The Nook segment consists of Nook ereaders and tablets as well as digital content. During the holiday period, digital content sales increased 13.1 percent while Nook device unit sales declined compared with the same period a year ago.

Barnes & Noble reports that Nook device sales got off to a good start over the Black Friday holiday weekend but fell short during the remainder of the holiday season. The company has made significant investments over the past three years to build its Nook digital platform as traditional retail bookstore sales continue to decline for it and others.