Blue State Digital bought up by Martin Sorrell’s WPP

Clickz reports the news that advertising and marketing giant WPP has purchased Blue State Digital, most famous for its key role in Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign:

The firm comes into the WPP fold without one of its key online advertising execs who worked on the Obama team. BSD’s former director of advertising and promotion, a member of Obama’s online ad team, left the firm earlier this month.

Since gaining acclaim during the 2008 presidential election through its Obama campaign work, the integrated digital marketing agency has veered away from political candidate campaigns and broadened its clientele to encompass more advocacy groups, non-profits, unions, sporting organizations, educational institutions, and corporate clients.

WPP Digital will acquire all of BSD’s U.S. and U.K. assets. BSD has done work in the U.K. in recent years from its London office. For instance, the firm recently began work with the “Yes to fairer votes” campaign in the U.K., in support of the referendum to adopt the Alternative Vote system for elections to the House of Commons.

The move from political campaign to wider commercial services not only allows a firm to tap into a much wider market, but also reflects – as I’ve argued before (see lesson eight) – that in many ways political campaigns are at the cutting edge of online innovation.

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