WPP CEO Mark Read
WPP CEO Mark Read

WPP merges JWT with Wunderman to create a new agency

WPP is restructuring after clients complained that with 130,000 people in 112 countries it had become too difficult to do business with

New Delhi: WPP Plc, world’s largest advertising and communication firm, announced that it has merged its advertising agencies Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson to form Wunderman Thompson, a creative, data and technology agency.

The newly formed agency will be led by global chief executive Mel Edwards, who is currently the global CEO of Wunderman. Tamara Ingram, chief executive of J. Walter Thompson, will become chairman.

Mark Read, chief executive of WPP, said, “Wunderman Thompson is a formidable combination, bringing together the capabilities our clients are demanding – award-winning creativity alongside deep expertise in technology, data and commerce – in a single organization. It’s great news for our clients that we can combine the best of JWT and Wunderman in a single agency, and it’s great news for WPP as it allows us to compete more effectively in the sectors with the most significant opportunities for future growth."

Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson share many clients, who will now have simpler access to the expertise of both agencies. Wunderman Thompson will also capitalize on long-standing partnerships with tech firms such as Adobe, Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce and SAP.

Mel Edwards, global chief executive officer, Wunderman Thompson, said: “To achieve transformative outcomes, clients today need inspiration that is rooted in data-driven insight. I’m really excited to be able to deliver that within one agency. Wunderman Thompson offers precisely what clients want: brilliant creativity, expertise in data and sophisticated technology skills. I couldn’t be more honored to lead this new organization and its exceptional people."

Wunderman Thompson will be an agency of more than 20,000 people in 90 markets. It will be fully operational in early 2019.

Tamara Ingram, chairman, Wunderman Thompson, added: “Coming together was a decision driven by the opportunity to better serve our clients, expand our offering and create an agency effectively positioned for the future. As Wunderman Thompson we will deliver world-class services in every geography, and work that is more meaningful and more impactful than ever."

In India, JWT works with close to 1,000 clients including companies such as PepsiCo, Nestle, Airtel, Aditya Birla Group and Hero MotoCorp, among others.

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