New Delhi: WPP Plc, the world’s biggest advertising conglomerate, announced that it had merged digital agency VML and creative firm Y&R to create a new entity VMLY&R, which will deliver integrated solutions to brands globally.

The new agency will be led by global chief executive officer Jon Cook, who is currently global chief executive of VML. He will report to the newly appointed WPP CEO Mark Read. VML Southeast Asia CEO Tripti Lochan and VML China CEO Yi Chung Tay have been named co-CEOs of VMLY&R Asia.

“VMLY&R will be a powerful brand experience offering and a core agency brand for WPP. VML and Y&R have distinct and complementary strengths spanning creative, technology and data services that make them a perfect match. This is an important step as we build a new, simpler WPP that provides clients with a fully integrated offering and easy access to our wealth of talent and resources," said Read in a statement.

WPP said that it will complete the merger of both the agencies in a phased manner till 2019. This will include the India market.

“I’m thrilled for the VMLY&R team as we start this journey together and harness the best of each agency to deliver culturally relevant world-class work. The landscape of our industry is changing rapidly, and we are committed to being an invaluable partner to chief marketing officers around the world. I look forward to leading this unprecedented unification of two exceptional agencies," said Jon Cook, global chief executive, VMLY&R.

In India, VML handles clients such as food company Kraft Heinz India, oral hygiene brand Colgate, auto firm Ford India, ICICI Bank and computer technology company Dell India among others.

In August this year, WPP sold its stake in the joint ventures with homegrown advertising firm Rediffusion for three agencies, including Y&R, healthcare communications agency Sudler and digital agency Wunderman. The company said that it will develop the three companies as wholly-owned agencies.

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