WPP merges Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R to create VML

Jon-Cook-and-Mel-Edwards-vlm

WPP has announced a major evolution in its offering to clients with the merger of Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R.

The combined entity will be known as VML and will be the industry’s largest creative company.

VML

WPP said that VML unites two of the most awarded creative agencies in the world, each with world-class commerce, customer experience and marketing technology capabilities.

VML will be equipped to support clients on creative brand growth strategy and transformation initiatives, all powered by best-in-class data operations, technology platforms and partnerships with leading technology companies.

It will also provide an exceptional offer for healthcare companies and B2B marketers.

Respective client bases, functional expertise and geographic strengths mean the agencies are highly complementary and the combined company will have more than 30,000 people in 64 markets.

Jon Cook becomes VML Global CEO and Mel Edwards VML Global President, with the management team bringing together strong leaders from across both companies.

“The future of building strong brands and businesses requires the interconnectivity of brand experience, commerce and customer experiences,” said Cook.

“We recognised the immediate opportunity to create what every consultancy and advertising agency aspires to build with the formation of VML.

“We’re especially excited to present our new offering to the industry as we don’t believe there is another company as creatively awarded with our depth in customer experience and commerce.”

Mel Edwards, Global President, said: “This is the right suite of capabilities, offered at just the right moment, at unprecedented scale”.

“It’s incredibly exciting because with this new agency we have the chance to shape the future of modern marketing in every key market around the world.

The opportunities it affords our people and the growth we can deliver for our clients at a global scale make this a real game-changer for each business and the wider industry.”

Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R have partnered globally across multiple clients such as Colgate-Palmolive, Dell, Ford, Microsoft, Nestlé, The Coca-Cola Company and more.

WPP added that the merged VML company will be operational from January 1, 2024.

WPP’s shares in London closed on Tuesday unchanged at 725p.