WPP is to merge Wunderman with J Walter Thompson as part of global chief executive Mark Read’s plans to consolidate the group.
The new entity, which will be known as Wunderman Thompson, will be headed up by Mel Edwards, who was promoted to the top Wunderman role in September. JWT Worldwide CEO Tamara Ingram will serve as chairman.
The agency will employ about 20,000 people in 200 locations across 90 markets. The two agencies already share a number of clients, including Shell, Nestle and Johnson & Johnson.
JWT was launched in 1864, while Wunderman was launched in 1958.
Read 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 organisation.
“Clients want greater simplicity from their partners and this development, like others at WPP, is designed to reshape our company around their needs.
“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.”
Edwards added: “To achieve transformative outcomes, clients today need inspiration that is rooted in data-driven insight. I am 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 organisation and its exceptional people.”
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