March 7, 2014, 4:44 PM

Instagram signs its first major ad agency deal

Omnicom Media Group will work with Instagram to develop its ad formats. The move comes about six months after the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service debuted its first ads.

Lead Photo

A sample ad on Instagram.

Facebook Inc. owned Instagram has made its biggest advertising-focused move to date, signing its first-ever major deal with a large advertising agency.

The deal is with Omnicom Media Group, the advertising conglomerate that owns firms such as BBDO and DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc. As part of the agreement, Instagram will work with the agency to develop best practices for its ad formats.

“Our teams are going to work hand in hand to develop and execute campaigns that provide people with amazing imagery–and drive meaningful business results for advertisers,” says Jim Squires, Instagram’s director of market operations.

Until now, Instagram, which launched its first ads last fall, has taken a measured approach to advertising. When it announced the launch of advertising it noted that it wants the ads to “feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands.”

The agreement with Omnicom does not represent a shift in that approach, says Squires. “This doesn’t change our advertising strategy moving forward–people will continue to see a limited number of beautiful, high–quality photos and videos from select brands that already have a strong presence on Instagram,” he says.

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