WPP forges 'unholy alliance' with Vice stake

Sir Martin Sorrell has dusted off his youth credentials with an investment in Vice Media, the group that publishes Vice, the self-confessed "coolest magazine in the world".

Vice Media announced yesterday that advertising giant WPP had invested alongside MTV's founder Tom Freston, and the merchant bank The Raine Group. The company would not reveal the exact size of the injection, beyond saying it was in the "high eight figures".

The group also announced a strategic partnership with the agency William Morris Endeavor (WME), run by Ari Emanuel, the super-agent who is believed to be the basis for the Ari Gold character in the hit series Entourage.

Vice's founder Shane Smith described the partnership, in his inimitable style, as an "unholy alliance that will ensure no other media company will ever stand a chance against Vice's relentless onslaught". He added: "Sir Martin Sorrell and WPP, Ari Emanuel and WME, along with Tom Freston and Joe Ravitch are so good at what they do that they scare me. Having this group aboard is like having a rocket strapped to your skateboard – when they turn on the jets, you're in for a hell of a ride."

The group intends to "continue its transformation into one of the world's leading youth media companies". It is looking to expand globally, specifically targeting the emerging markets of Brazil, China, India and South Korea.

WPP will help Vice get in the door at some of the world's largest brands, it said. Sir Martin Sorrell said: "WPP is investing in Vice to further develop our content capabilities, particularly in new media and among the youth consumer segments. Vice has been extremely successful in developing and repositioning major brands in these areas." Tom Freston, a former chief executive of Viacom, will advise on the company's expansion. He said Vice Media "is bursting with creativity".

Vice was set up by friends Shane Smith, Suroosh Alvi and Gavin McInnes in Canada as a free fanzine in 1994 before it moved to New York. The company now distributes more than a million copies of each issue around the world. It launched a UK edition in 2002, with about 85,000 copies distributed through clothing and music outlets and cafes.

Vice operates in 31 countries and has set about heavily expanding over the past four years, to the extent where Matt Elek, the group publisher for Europe, said the magazine is "just a part of what we do". Last week, it announced the launch of a new music channel Noisey.com in partnership with Dell and Intel. Divisions include Vice Films and Vice Records and it has expanded into books, DVDs, and an online TV network, VBS.TV. The channel was launched in 2007, with Being John Malkovich director Spike Jonze.

Mr Elek said the investment would help the group expand, adding that it was not selling out. Asked what he thought about the magazine's reputation as the hipster bible, he replied wearily: "That is vaguely true, but I like to think it's a whole lot more than that."

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

Arts and Entertainment
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

News
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

The benefits of Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

Finance Assistant - Part time - 9 month FTC

£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...

Marketing Manager

£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes