Ogilvy finally opens up

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Sandra Renowden, the Sydney-based external communications manager of WPP AUNZ (in which the WPP/Ogilvy comms network is a 61.5% stakeholder) has contacted M+AD to clarify our earlier reports about the rebranding of Ogilvy, and the subsequent changes at Ogilvy PR in Sydney (scroll down for the links to those stories).

M+AD acknowledges that both stories contained more speculation than ideal – but we’d claim that the Australasian arm of the company went to sleep over the name change.

There was no formal acknowledgement from either side of the Tasman as the story developed – driven entirely by Campaign UK magazine, which published a detailed report based on interviews at the network’s London HQ.

Even now, two days later, there’s not been a peep out of Ogilvy NZ, which appears to have been muzzled by Sydney HQ. And the whole untidy businesses could have easily been avoided simply by the network issuing the same statement globally, including NZ.

Renowden’s message, and the statement (both published in full, below) give the game away – they do not include a solitary word from anybody in NZ. Indeed, they barely mention NZ at all.


Renowden introduced the Sydney statement: “We note your story just published re Ogilvy PR Australia, which has rebranded to opr and established itself as a separate entity within WPP AUNZ.

“We would like to clarify that Ogilvy PR currently does not have any offices in NZ and will continue to use fellow WPP AUNZ agency PPR as its preferred partner in that market.

“Please see media release attached  for further clarification. If you have any further questions  we would be happy to arrange for you chat to opr CEO Richard Brett.

“We would  appreciate if you could amend the story accordingly.”


Ogilvy PR Australia changes name to opr:
Sydney, June 6, 2018: Australia’s largest public relations and communications agency, Ogilvy PR Australia, has rebranded to opr and established itself as a separate entity within WPP AUNZ. 

The new opr agency brand signifies a nod to its Ogilvy heritage, a new direction and a new phase in the agency’s history as it leaves the Ogilvy network, reinforcing its mission to lead the Australian marketplace in terms of capability and results.

opr CEO Richard Brett said: “Our new name reflects the power of the letter O in our heritage. Yet as we evolve the agency we have thought hard about our purpose and what we do best for clients. Our new strapline ‘believability is our business’ reflects the importance of truth and factual storytelling in the era of fake news and ‘alternative facts’. Our discipline is uniquely placed to help organisations and brands navigate these new complexities. We are excited about the future and what additional opportunities it will bring for our people and our clients.

“Since its creation in 2001, Ogilvy PR has always been a specialised, unique and highly focused group of people engaged in communications with a fantastic and very special culture. It has become the leader in its field; providing unparalleled expertise across brand marketing, technology, public affairs, government relations, corporate communications, healthcare, B2B and employee engagement.” 

CEO Richard Brett will continue to lead the rebranded organisation, with all other team, structure clients, values and vision remaining unchanged.  opr will also remain the preferred public relations partner to Ogilvy in Australia, and continue to work with the Ogilvy PR APAC network on a range of clients.

Kieran Moore, CEO WPP AUNZ PR & PA continued: “The opr brand provides a new position in the marketplace, the business otherwise continues as usual. It will continue to service our outstanding and market-leading clients, our talented team will continue to provide best-practice communications campaigns and programs and our strong relationship with the broader WPP family remains.  Same leadership, same talent, same expertise – and a different name.”

opr’s new moniker will be seen on all its assets including website, social presence and credentials from this week.  “Reworking our own brand and position is a further demonstration of the incredibly diverse and deep expertise opr offers,” Brett continued.  “It has been a fantastic and exciting process for everyone involved and we look forward to continued success as opr.”

opr’s other brands Pulse, Howorth and Parker & Partners continue to operate as specialist divisions whilst Ogilvy PR Health becomes opr health, and Ogilvy Impact becomes opr Employee Experience. 

Mike Connaghan, CEO WPP AUNZ said: “opr has grown to be the biggest and most respected communications agency in the country, and we are both excited and supportive of this move as the company heads to its 18th birthday”. 

opr is part of WPP AUNZ, Australasia’s leading marketing communications group.

Statement ends.

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