Viacom Acquires Influence Marketing Firm WhoSay

Programmer offers additional services to advertisers

Looking to expand its offerings to advertisers, Viacom said it has agreed to acquire influence marketing company WhoSay.

WhoSay creates campaigns for marketers that feature talent ranging from A-list actors to online celebrities to pets to deliver messages over social media. The company uses data and technology to reach its target audience and measure its performance.

Viacom and WhoSay say they have worked together on about 50 projects for clients over the past two years, and a decision came together quickly to tie the knot. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The move fits with the strategy of Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, who is trying to turn around the youth-oriented media company. Ratings at Viacom’s cable networks including Nickelodeon and MTV have been falling for several years, leading to lower ad revenue and profits, and the dismissal of Bakish’s predecessor, Philippe Dauman.

Related: Bakish Goes Bold

As its ratings fell Viacom embraced advanced advertising, with Viacom Vantage using data to target ads and Viacom Velocity creating custom content. The company also helped to found Open AP, which is looking to standardize audience-based ad sales.

Related: Analysts Like OpenAP But Debate Timing, Impact

Under Bakish, Viacom is looking to grow ratings by focusing its resources on its flagship networks and by expanding its ad business beyond selling commercials.

“We really have been positioning Viacom as an overall solutions provider,” said Sean Moran, head of marketing and partner solutions at Viacom.