WPP teamed up with Cambridge Analytica to pitch for US Army account

WPP teamed up with Cambridge Analytica to pitch for US Army account

WPP has confirmed that it brought in controversial data company Cambridge Analytica as a "potential sub-contractor" during its pitch for the US Army's advertising account.

The statement from WPP noted that the agency group is no longer working with Cambridge Analytica as part of its engagement with this client. 

A spokesman for WPP said: "Cambridge Analytica were involved in a pitch process with WPP as a potential sub-contractor, but are no longer part of our engagement with the client."

WPP is pitching against Omnicom and Interpublic Group for the account with IPG's McCann as the incumbent, according to AdAge.

Yesterday, The Times wrote that ISBA members might be considering leaving Facebook over the scandal with Cambridge Analytica. While this was greeted with scepticism by the industry, there is little doubt that brands need to help rebuild consumer trust, WFA chief executive Stephan Loerke, said.

"What’s come out in recent weeks is nothing short of shocking. The implications go far beyond our industry and touch upon the very fabric of society. It’s symptomatic of an age where the digital ecosystem has lost its way. The notion that data can be collected without people knowing or consenting is plain wrong," Loerke said. 

Brands, he continued, will need to play a major role to rebuild a digital ecosystem in which people get to decide with whom, when, and how they share their data.

"No doubt this will lead to major upheavals in the industry but that’s the only sustainable option. We are working with our partners around the world to start to rebuild much-needed trust," he said. 

ISBA confirmed to Campaign that it is meeting Facebook UK today and asking for a full account regarding the possibilbility that user data has been, or is being, used improperly elsewhere. 


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