The advertising and marketing world witnesses a groundbreaking move as WPP announces the merger of its two major agencies, VMLY&R and Wunderman Thompson, to form the industry giant ‘VML’. Touted to be the largest in the creative realm, this merger embodies the collective capabilities of over 30,000 employees spanning 64 global markets.
Leading the new conglomerate is VMLY&R's present global CEO, Jon Cook, who will don the CEO mantle for VML. In parallel, Mel Edwards from Wunderman Thompson is slated to be VML’s global president. Cook emphasized the imperative of amalgamating brand experience, commerce, and customer experiences in today's brand-building landscape. He expressed enthusiasm about VML’s unparalleled offering, noting its blend of award-winning creativity with profound customer experience and commerce expertise.
Both merging agencies, having been founded in 2018, have carved a reputation as global forerunners in their domain. The merged entity also announces key leadership positions with Debbi Vandeven as the global chief creative officer, Eric Campbell taking up the global chief client officer role, and several regional CEO appointments, including Juan Pablo Jurado (LATAM), Ewen Sturgeon (EMEA), and the duo Audrey Kuah and Yi-Chung Tay for APAC.
WPP's CEO, Mark Read, highlighted the significance of scale in the current era of AI and technological transformation in marketing. He believes that the creation of VML underscores the fusion of top-notch creativity with in-depth data knowledge, marketing technology, and platform expertise. Read further added that the combined strengths of the two agencies will yield a comprehensive, integrated suite of services for clients worldwide.
In a nutshell, this merger addresses the contemporary need for a fluid connection between brand advertising and tech solutions, with VML poised to become the industry's answer to this crucial requirement.