Vice signs multimillion-dollar global ad deal with WPP's GroupM

Vice signs multi-million dollar ad deal

Vice and WPP's media investment unit GroupM have signed a multimillion-dollar advertising deal that will take advantage of the millennial-focused media company's international expansion.

"We both agree that millennials are the future," Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith said in an interview with CNBC alongside WPP CEO Martin Sorrell. "They're under-serviced and we have to create more content and do a better job of going after them."

The main crux of the deal involves Vice working with GroupM to use Vice's insights, content and data to build an advertising platform across all of Vice's global multi-screen and over-the-top properties. The deal was announced at the Dmexco conference in Cologne, Germany.

The exact terms of deal were not disclosed, but it is worth hundreds of millions of dollars in ad spending, according to Smith. A Vice spokesperson added it is a multi-year, multi territory deal.

GroupM handles more than $102 billion in advertising billings, according to research company Recma. GroupM said it handles one out of three ads globally.

Sorrell said that there are some difficulties working with Google and Facebook, and that there's a need to "find another force." While Sorrell admitted that Vice isn't that third digital media advertising powerhouse yet, he said it was "nearly" there.

"It's not just [giving advertisers] first look, it's trying to innovate and initiate ideas," Sorrell said in the interview. "It's something we'd love to do more with Google and Facebook to be honest with you, but they seem to be [harder to work with]. I think less so with Google, they seem to be proactive recently maybe because some of the regulatory issues they've had to deal with. But, Facebook certainly because of their success have become a little more difficult to deal with."

Google and Facebook declined to comment.

In June, Vice announced plans to expand its presence to 51 territories, including having a TV, mobile and digital presence in India and the Middle East and TV content throughout Africa.

It also will add a 24-hour TV channel in Australia and New Zealand, where it already has a robust digital and mobile presence. Vice's U.S. cable channel Viceland launched in February 2016, and it's nightly HBO news show is slated to begin on Oct. 10.

WPP currently has an 8.5 percent stake in Vice. At one point, it owned up to one-tenth of the company but has since sold some shares.