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In a first half earnings statement released this morning, WPP Group announced that digital and direct marketing-related services now comprise 25% of its body.

WPP Group owns labels like 24/7 Real Media, Mediaedge:cia, MediaCom, Mindshare, GroupM and Outrider.

Digital and direct garnered $1.7 billion in revenues in the first half of ’09, with a projected annual run rate of nearly $3.5 billion total. But it is digital media and advertising that appear to be dominating the segment.

Overall, first half revenues fell 2.9% to $6.4 billion in the first half on a reported basis, MediaPost reports. Like-for-like, however, total revenues slid 8.3% against the first half of 2008.

According to WPP, traditional advertising and “media investment management” have been the hardest-hit amidst the economic downturn.

“On a constant currency basis, advertising and media investment management revenues fell by 7.5%, with like-for-like revenues down 7.8%,” it stated.

Branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications — which includes direct, internet and interactive — were least affected.

The media conglomerate committed to prioritizing the growth of digital communications, customer insights and strong geographic markets.

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