Having lost out to Google in the bidding war for internet marketing agency DoubleClick, WPP has reportedly turned its attention elsewhere.

A report in the Independent claims rumours abound that the British firm, which is the second largest advertising agency in the world, is planning to make an offer for online marketing firm 24/7 Real Media.

Like DoubleClick, 24/7 is also a broker of display ads and provides services to measure the success of online marketing campaigns.

However, analysts are unsure as to what is motivating WPP’s reported interest in the New York-based firm. David Clark of Jordan, Edmiston Group told MediaPost that the deal would be "something really new", adding that it would see WPP stepping out of the agency arena and into the operator role.

Andrew Frank of Gartner Research also questioned the purpose of the move.

"Google’s interest in DoubleClick is its relationships with agencies, but WPP obviously doesn’t have that problem," he said.

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