WPP has its sights on becoming a major player in the live events market, with the launch of FitchLive.
Speaking this week about the move, the newly formed group’s managing director Paul Cowan lays down the gauntlet to the established players in the experiential field, saying he wants ‘not just to challenge Jack Morton and Imagination, but to beat them’.
‘Experiential is not a sector full of major players. There are only two dominant groups. We feel we can change the shape of the sector by offering an approach to experiential marketing that can create multi-dimensional relationships with audiences, using design,’ says Cowan.
FitchLive was formally created by the marriage of WPP groups PCI Fitch and interactive consultancy Clever Media – formerly part of the WPP Metro Group. It will employ a team of 55 and will be based in London’s Chelsea Harbour.
Cowan, previously managing director and communications chief at Clever Media, takes the reins as managing director, while Peter Cowie, previously Europe, Middle East and Africa managing partner of PCI Fitch, becomes managing partner. Karl Elliott from PCI Fitch has been named as the team’s creative director.
FitchLive will report to WPP through Fitch. Its offer will dovetail with the group’s retail, product development and identity services, says Cowan.
‘We [will] bring an all-important layer of engagement – in other words we bring conventional design discip- lines to life,’ he says.
Cowan says FitchLive has already lined up live event projects for General Motors and Microsoft, with other projects for The Army, Nokia, British Airways, BP and Easynet in the pipeline.