WPP has merged Y&R and VML to create a new agency VMLY&R that it said will 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.
The new agency will be led by global chief executive officer Jon Cook, who is currently global CEO of VML.
Cook will report to Mark Read, chief executive officer of WPP. David Sable, former global CEO of Y&R, will continue to support Cook, VMLY&R and its clients as non-executive chairman as he transitions to a new role in WPP.
In Australia, Y&R CEO Pete Bosilkovski and VML’s managing director Aden Hepburn will jointly lead the integration and the business forward.
CEO WPP AUNZ Mike Connaghan (main photo) said: “This is incredibly exciting news. We have a stated ambition of fewer, bigger, better companies and to my mind VML Y&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 driven 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.”
Y&R is one of the industry’s iconic agencies, known for building many of the Fortune 500’s biggest brands. Its renowned strategic approach, married with innovation and creative talent, has led to some of the most famous and culturally transformative campaigns around the world.
Y&R developed the world’s first and largest brand management tool, its proprietary BrandAsset Valuator, which fuels both strategic and creative decisions with data and insights.
The agency’s work has consistently driven the bottom line for its clients and is continuously recognised at every major awards festival, including Cannes, D&AD, the Effies and The One Show.
VML has been recognised at all international creative award shows, including being named Entertainment Agency of the Year for two years in a row at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity; has been noted as a digital leader by Forrester and Gartner; and was one of the first agencies to be certified by the 3% Movement, an organization that champions female creative leadership, diversity and inclusion.
VMLY&R will be an agency of more than 7,000 people globally, and one of WPP’s principal brands. It will be fully operational in early 2019.