WPP merges consultancies including Brand Union and The Partners

They will become part of one as-yet-unnamed consultancy, which will also include Addison Group and VBAT.

Jim Prior

Advertising giant WPP has announced it is merging five of its design and brand consultancies, including Brand Union, The Partners, Lambie-Nairn, Addison Group and VBAT.

The new consultancy, which has not yet been named, will see the current CEO of Lambie-Nairn and The Partners, Jim Prior, become its global CEO. Meanwhile Brand Union CEO Simon Bolton will take up the role of executive chairman.

The new agency will employ 750 people in more than 20 countries, with combined fees of over $100 million (£73.6 million).

Prior cites being able to do “more great work” for “more clients” as one of the key reasons for the decision to merge the consultancies.

“Any clients of the existing business today will find that with the new company they are going to have access to a whole new range of services that might not have existed for them before,” says Prior.

“So while it’s a lot bigger, the point is that it can do more and do it more easily for each client.”

“Unorthodox structure”

The reorgnisation of the business may see the new consultancy take on an “unorthodox structure”, adds Prior, due to the number of people that make up the senior management teams at each of the individual consultancies. However, WPP has revealed that no redundancies will be made.

The consultancies will also come together “physically” as well as “operationally”, says Prior, with plans to operate out of the same office.

The name and branding for the new agency will be revealed by the end of the year.

The news comes after WPP’s acquisition of formerly independent brand consultancy Design Bridge last month for an undisclosed sum.

The new agency will launch in January 2018.

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  • Neil Littman September 21, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Heard it all before. Bigger is better. Happened to the company I used to work for.
    Just wonder what other design industry people thinkmabout this. Have not seen any comments apart from some insights in the Sunday Times and Standard that were in line with my views.

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