WPP to consolidate 5 brand consultancies to form global brand agency

WPP has unveiled plans to integrate five of its brand consultancies and design agencies to form a global brand agency, which has not yet been named. The agencies are Brand Union, The Partners, Lambie-Nairn, Addison Group and VBAT.

According to the press statement, the global brand agency, which will launch in January 2018, will have a network of 750 people in over 20 countries, with client billings in excess of US$100 million worldwide. Current chief executive of The Partners and Lambie-Nairn Jim Prior will lead the new agency as global CEO, and CEO, worldwide of Brand Union Simon Bolton as executive chairman.

In a statement to Marketing, Bolton said WPP intends to launch the new global brand agency as a full network, encompassing all offices across Asia Pacific - specifically Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Thailand and India - with over 120 people. He added that the current leadership, split between between Singapore and China, will continue to lead the new agency's efforts in Asia Pacific. When asked what the new agency's strategy will be in Asia Pacific, Bolton said it will employ both an inbound and outbound strategy to global brand management.

"We have a strong network to serve some of the most important growth brands in the world, coming from key markets in the AP region, such as Tencent, Huawei, Telekom Malaysia, Rakuten, Hong Kong Stock Exchange and RHB. We also have a well-established history of serving major brand building activity for companies such as Bank of America, Prudential, Reckitt Benckiser and Pernod Ricard," he added.

This move is part of a client-centric plan for growth, enabling clients to engage with a broader array of specialists and provide a more connected set of services. Clients will also gain access to the strategic, creative and client-focused strengths of each of the five agencies.

"Our clients and our industry are ready for change and by bringing these agencies together, we can serve clients across the full range of sectors, capabilities and geographies. This convergence builds the next generation brand agency and is motivated by the opportunities for growth—for our clients and for us," Jim Prior, global CEO, said.

"Bringing our agencies together will instantly give our clients the benefit of scale and single point of access to a breadth of services that covers almost every aspect of brand and communications," Simon Bolton, executive chairman, added.