The deal, for an undisclosed amount, is said by London-based Kantar to build on its activities in the media market research and insights. CIC has clients including L’Oreal, Pepsi, Dell, Nike and Burberry.
According to a statement the acquisition comes in response to the ‘growing client need’ for the real-time monitoring of consumer brand conversations.
Kantar says that over 70 per cent of the 500 million internet users in China engage in social media, and 50,000 enterprises own a microblog account.
Sam Flemming, founder and chairman of CIC, comments: ‘In joining Kantar Media, we will provide our clients with accessible, intelligent and meaningful analysis of brand discussions wherever they take place.’
China represents WPP’s fourth largest market with revenues of $1.1 billion (£715 million) in 2011.
As part of the deal the CIC team will remain based in Shanghai and Beijing with its management team reporting to Jean-Michel Portier, global chief executive officer of Kantar Media.
Portier adds: ‘It is clear that the monitoring of consumer, brand and market discussions and the resulting insights are vital tools for executives worldwide.
‘CIC will enrich our global digital expertise in capturing millions of online conversations and “making sense of the buzz” in order to provide interpretation that informs strategic decisions that leads to action.’