Iris buys major stake in WDMP to boost CRM division

Gavin2Iris Worldwide has rekindled its relationship with WDMP by signing a deal to acquire a major stake in the independent business, as part of plans to boost its own CRM unit.
WDMP, which was launched in 2002 by former client marketer Gavin Wheeler and his brother Craig with backing from Iris, will move into Iris’ London office but remain a separate agency within the Iris network and retain its brand.
WDMP’s clients include Hiscox, Just Eat and Nielson Holidays.
The agency will work closely with Iris Customer Marketing Practice, which was launched last year, when Iris hired Mike Cornwell, Chris Whitson, Simon Spyer and Jason Andrews. Cornwell has since left the business.
Iris claims to have seen significant growth in the discipline both across existing clients and new business wins, such as Barclaycard, KFC and Habito. It insists that bringing WDMP to the group provides access to a larger pool of expertise and resource as the agency looks to develop the offering.
The move sees Whitson – now Iris executive director for customer marketing – take a place on the WDMP board.
Whitson said: “We are delighted to welcome WDMP to the Iris family. When we first started talking, it was clear we had similar views on what it takes to build strong commercial relationships between people and brands in the post digital world.
“They bring long and deep expertise in customer marketing and will be a fundamental part of our plans as we continue to enhance our capability.”
WDMP chief executive Gavin Wheeler (pictured) added: “We have a long-standing and very strong relationship with Iris and we share the same ethos of helping clients solve their business problems and drive their business forward.
“We’re thrilled by the opportunity to unite and unlock client opportunities for both agencies.”
WDMP was advised throughout the process by M&A Advisory.

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