WPP unveils global ‘data ethics’ company Choreograph

WPP logo 2WPP has finalised details of its new global data company – first revealed over a month ago – which is designed to help clients get more out of their first-party data while taking an “ethical” approach.

Dubbed Choreograph, the business pools the data units of Group M and Wunderman Thompson into a single company for all WPP clients and agencies, and coincides with privacy updates from both Google and Apple that will affect the way advertisers can collect customer data.

The new company aims to help clients tap into their first-party data, consult on and implement their data and technology strategies, and advise on what it calls “privacy-first approaches”.

WPP chief executive Mark Read said: “We are at an inflection point in the industry, where brands have an imperative to leverage their own first-party data to make advertising more relevant, effective and personal while fully respecting consumer privacy.

“We must also use data to gain insights, shape our creative work and measure results—and this requires a holistic approach that this integrated offering brings by enabling data to flow across client, agency, and media owners.”

Choreograph will offer four product categories: audience insights and planning; private identity solutions; machine learning optimisers; and growth forecasts through population simulations. It will also offer strategy consultancy, custom software development and operations.

The company will operate as part of Group M, with the agency’s North America chief executive Kirk McDonald overseeing a team of more than 700 technologists, product developers and data scientists who work across WPP.

Choreograph will have offices in Karlsruhe, Lille, London, New Delhi, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai and Sydney, although it has not been revealed who will run the UK operation.

McDonald said: “The reality is our clients need a simpler solution. The difference between us and our competitive set is that we believe marketers own their first-party data and relationship with the consumer, and the consumer has given their permission, whether passively or explicitly, to use it.

“It is up to us to help the clients use that first-party data ethically. It is not just about what you can, and have legal permission, to do, it needs to be much more thoughtful than that. Customers have so much choice, you are fighting for relevance. You will lose relevance by exploiting your relationship with the consumer.”

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