The merging of both agency giants creates a business of more than 30,000 people in 64 markets.
WPP has combined VMLY&R and Wunderman Thompson to form VML, and will be led by Jon Cook as global CEO and Mel Edwards as global president from January 1st. VML will be supporting clients in devising creative brand growth strategies and transformation and will provide data operations, technology platforms, and partnerships through tech firms such as Nvidia, with whom Wunderman Thompson has joined hands to enhance its AI services. Additionally, it will provide B2B and healthcare services.
Leadership appointments include Debbi Vandeven as global chief creative officer; Eric Campbell as global chief client officer; Juan Pablo Jurado as CEO for LATAM; Ewen Sturgeon as CEO EMEA; and Audrey Kuah and Yi-Chung Tay, co-CEOs for APAC.
Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said, “Scale matters in today’s world as AI and technology transform marketing and global clients look to simplify their relationships. VML will combine world-class creativity with deep expertise in data, marketing technology, and platforms to deliver a competitive advantage for ambitious brands. It’s another important step forward for WPP as we continue to reshape our offer for the future, simplify our business, and unlock further benefits of scale.”
He continued, “Separately, Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R are two of WPP’s strongest and best-performing agencies. Together, they will deliver an even wider, fully integrated suite of capabilities to our clients in every market. Marketers today expect seamless links between their brand advertising and technology solutions and platforms. VML provides an immediate solution to this business imperative.”
Over the years, both agencies have partnered globally across clients such as Colgate-Palmolive, Dell, Ford, Microsoft, Nestlé and The Coca-Cola Company.