Canadian Magazine Industry News
11 April 2011,     NEW YORK
Vice secures major investment with WPP, MTV founder, Raine Group
Global youth media brand Vice, which grew from a Montreal counterculture zine in the mid-90s, into a multi-divisional media conglomerate celebrating creativity in the modern day, appears set to take off globally with the arrival of major investments from communications hypergiant WPP Group, MTV founder Tom Freston, and media merchant bank The Raine Group.
Vice founder Shane Smith described the new partnership as an “unholy alliance that will ensure no other media company will ever stand a chance against Vice’s relentless onslaught.” The company will remain independently controlled, though WPP, Freston and Raine Group will hold seats on Vice’s board of directors.
Vice plans to develop youth media in emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India and South Korea. It will also expand its news and sports divisions.
“Vice has long been accused of having ambitions for total global domination. Today, we acknowledge the truth: we want the whole ball of wax. (Our investors) are so good at what they do that they scare me,” said Smith.
The Raine Group will offer expert advice and access to industry connections. Freston will also take an advisory role, focusing on global expansion and content production. WPP, which manages a client roster that includes more than 70 per cent of Fortune Global 500 companies, will work with Vice to facilitate relationships with the world’s leading brands.
“WPP is investing in Vice to further develop our content capabilities, particularly in new media and amongst the youth consumer segments,” said Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group. “Vice has been extremely successful in developing and repositioning major brands in these areas.” 
— Tom Czerniawski
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