WPP has taken a stake in Los Angeles-based Spot Runner, the first internet-based advertising agency.

It is buying 3.2% of Spot Runner’s shares, but gave no details on price. Assets of the company, which was founded in 2004, are $10m (£5.25m) and it employs 100 people.

WPP said Spot Runner’s “revolutionary approach” to commercial production, media planning and media buying services makes it easy and affordable for local businesses to advertise on TV.

Its clients include Sotheby’s, Caldwell Banker, Century 21 and ERA.

“This investment continues WPP’s strategy of developing its networks in fast growing markets and sectors and strengthening its capabilities in digital media,” the group said.

It has recently taken stakes in a number of internet companies, including Visible Technologies, which helps brands manage their internet reputations; Wild Tangent, an online game publisher with in-and-around game advertising capabilities; and LiveWorld, an online community and social networking provider.

Last month WPP chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, said the relentless rise of the internet was a key factor in the depressed state of traditional advertising markets and said he saw its share of overall spend continuing to rise.

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