Geometry and VMLY&R unite for online shopping boom

bethannWPP-owned shopper marketing specialist Geometry, formed in the 2013 merger of G2 Joshua, Ogilvy Action and JWT Action, is the latest to be consigned to the agency graveyard, after being folded into VMLY&R.

The new entity, VMLY&R Commerce, will operate as a separate company within the VMLY&R global network, and, according to WPP, will be an “end-to-end creative commerce company”.

The agency will be led by Geometry’s global chief executive Beth Ann Kaminkow (pictured), who joined from Kantar Consulting Americas last year. She succeeded WPP veteran Steve Harding.

Kaminkow commented: “Consumer experiences today are centred on commerce, making it increasingly important to our clients’ marketing and media decisions. As the pandemic accelerates new consumer behaviours and expectations, commerce is fast becoming the next channel for the most creative engagements and experiences.

“With the launch of VMLY&R Commerce, we can now offer our clients creative commerce at scale, harnessing data and technology to build brands and sell products across channels.”

While Geometry initially specialised in experiential shopping activity it recently developed a proprietary platform, dubbed Living Commerce, that uses data insights to help clients understand consumer needs and behaviours and direct personalised digital communications to them. The platform will form a key pillar of the new business.

The two agencies have more than 11,000 employees between them, across 80 countries worldwide; it is not known how many roles will be slashed by the time VMLY&R Commerce is fully operational in January 1 2021.

VMLY&R global CEO Jon Cook insisted he was “thrilled” to work with Kaminkow on the evolution of the commerce offering.  He added: “We have been partnering closely across many clients and it is clear we share a vision and belief in the role commerce plays in a consumer’s journey and creating connected brands. Importantly, we both have a deep passion for leading our businesses with a focus on culture – both internally and with our client partners which is essential in creating a new company built for the future.”

WPP global chief executive Mark Read, who has on a mission to streamline the number of agencies in the group, commented: “2020 has seen explosive growth in ecommerce as brands adapt to a new reality. This new company will offer outstanding creativity, industry-leading commerce expertise, and sophisticated data and technology skills to help brands grow in an omnichannel world. It also meets clients’ needs for simple, tightly integrated propositions from their marketing services partners.”

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