AUCKLAND, Today: From 1 January 2019, Y&R NZ will be known as VMLY&R NZ, a Sydney-based WPP spokesperson (who asked for anonymity) told M+AD this morning.
“Longer term,” the spokesperson said, “by creating VMLY&R there is greater opportunity to accelerate growth for our people, help us build on the relative strengths and scale of each business and offer a fantastic option for clients across both Australia and New Zealand.”
Not much else will change in NZ – at this stage it seems the new agency will simply take over the old Y&R premises in Shed 4 at Auckland’s City Works depot.
“VMLY&R won’t be fully operational until early 2019,” the Sydney spokesperson told M+AD this morning. “The process has just begun. As details become available closer to that time, I’ll let you know.”
What is clear, however, is that all the shots are being called out of Sydney and New York.
This follows the news out of Europe and the US that WPP and VML are to create a new agency, VMLY&R, uniting two leading brands to deliver a contemporary, fully integrated digital and creative offering to clients on a global scale.
“VMLY&R’s proposition will combine brand experience and brand advertising, drawing on the complementary expertise of VML and Y&R to create connected brands that drive value for clients,” according to the global release, out yesterday.
“What is clear, however, is that all the shots are being called out of Sydney and New York.
The new agency will be led by global ceo Jon Cook, currently global ceo of VML. Cook will report to WPP ceo Mark Read.
David Sable, former global ceo of Y&R, will also support Cook, VMLY&R and its clients as non-executive chairman as he transitions to a new role in WPP.
WPP AUNZ ceo Mike Connaghan, who is based in Sydney, said: “This is incredibly exciting news. We have a stated ambition of fewer, bigger, better companies and to my mind VMLY&R has been an opportunity waiting to happen.
“Bringing together the brand-building and strategic prowess of Y&R with the creative, tech and brand experience of VML is a match made in heaven.
VML and Y&R have partnered in this market for a long time, formalising that partnership will allow us to accelerate growth for our people, help us build on the relative strengths and scale of each business and offer a fantastic option for clients across Australia and New Zealand.”
VMLY&R will be an agency of more than 7000 people globally, and one of WPP’s principal brands. It will be fully operational in early 2019.
As this report went to press, it was unclear whether the NZ office will retain its own website and localised email addresses. We’ll keep you updated.
WPP is a world leader in communications services. The company provides a comprehensive range of services including digital, ecommerce and shopper marketing; advertising and media investment management; data investment management; public relations and public affairs; brand consulting; health and wellness communications; and specialist communications.
VML is (was) a US-based digital marketing, advertising and transformation agency. Before the merger, it was already part of the WPP global empire.
VMLY&R is a global marketing agency with more than 7000 employees worldwide with principal offices in Kansas City, London, New York, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. VMLY&R works with client partners including Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dell, Ford, Office Depot, PepsiCo, Pfizer and Wendy’s.
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