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W2O Group Joins Forces With VM Foundry to Create W2O Digital and Expand Austin Presence and Operations

Announcing W2O Digital Click here for high-resolution version

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - Dec 12, 2012) - In yet another step to strengthen its foothold in digital hotbed Austin, Texas, and continue building the agency of the future, W2O Group, an independent global network of leading communications firms, including WCG, Twist Mktg and BrewLife, today announced that it will combine Austin-based digital agency VM Foundry with its existing multi-office digital practice and local office in Austin to create W2O Digital.

Led by Founder and CEO Jim Eustace, VM Foundry specializes in web and mobile application development with a focus on data-driven insights and development of scalable, repeatable social and online media influencer SAAS products and services. VM Foundry has served major state and national political campaigns as well as Fortune 500 companies and brands. By combining the talent and experience of VM Foundry with W2O's existing expertise and capabilities in the United States, London and within its global independent network of firms, W2O Digital is designed to become an international center of excellence in Austin. It will also serve as a think tank and learning center for W2O's clients and staff focused on the core digital media disciplines -- including analytics, search and agile online content creation -- integral to the future of marketing and communications. No financial terms were disclosed.

"Our goal is to become the best external and internal communications consulting company on a global scale for healthcare, technology, consumer and entertainment companies and brands in the next three to five years," said W2O Group's Founder, Chairman and CEO, Jim Weiss. "To achieve that objective, it is essential to have state-of-the-art innovation-driven digital expertise and capacity, particularly because of the ever-increasing transition of the Fortune 1,000's media spending to online, mobile and social media. Adding the fire power and digital chops of a company such as VM Foundry is exactly what we need to stay competitive in the future."

The VM Foundry deal follows several recent key hires, investments and other moves designed to strengthen W2O Group companies' ability to partner with its clients across the consumer, corporate, technology and healthcare industries on integrated, holistic digital communications strategies to address and solve a myriad of business issues. Earlier this year, W2O Group announced the acquisition of Austin-based Big Data company Ravel, a partnership with leading video entrepreneur Tim Bahr in a new analytics-driven online video venture called NextWorks, and the creation of the W2O Group/Newhouse Center for Social Commerce™ with Syracuse University focusing on imparting industry-leading skills and acumen to students, professors, staff and clients in the emerging field of social commerce.

Jim Weiss added, "Austin is a hub of talent and innovation in digital and online media, and we have focused investment here since Bob Pearson started our office less than four years ago after leaving Dell. We are focused on further expanding operations here with an eye toward becoming an important cornerstone in Austin's thriving local economy, going from 0 to 60 people from inception till now, and to more than 100 by 2014, which should make W2O one of the larger agencies of its type in this important city and region."

Jim Eustace, along with W2O Group President Bob Pearson, CFO Tony Esposito and Managing Directors Dave Mihalovic and Jamie Peck -- both leaders from digital powerhouse Rosetta (now part of Publicis) -- will form the leadership team for W2O Digital. In addition to flawlessly executing digital and web properties for its clients, W2O Digital will serve as a hub to accelerate the growth of the firms' Big Data sciences products and services and build on its existing proprietary offerings, including the Influencer Meme™ and Muse™, Conversation Blueprint™ and Real-time Media Dashboards™.

"Having known Bob Pearson for several years while working with him in his previous role at Dell, I've realized just how like-minded our two companies are," said Jim Eustace. "By joining forces with W2O, we can offer clients not only leading analytics and social, mobile and online media products and practices, but also content and production leveraging our existing studios and stages where traditional and digital commercials, TV and films have been shot to date."

To learn more about W2O Group's acquisition of VM Foundry and W2O Digital, check out this interview between Bob Pearson and Jim Eustace here.

About W2O Group
Founded and led by Chairman and CEO Jim Weiss, W2O Group is an independent network of complementary marketing, communications, research and development firms focused on integrated business solutions to drive change and growth through "pragmatic disruption" for the world's leading brands and organizations. W2O Group serves clients through a network of firms -- WCG, Twist, Brewlife and W2O Ventures -- through offices in San Francisco, New York, Austin, Los Angeles and London. For more information on W2O, please visit http://w2ogroup.com.

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