Its unclear whether this move has been conceived on behalf of a client need, or is driven by more self-serving objectives. The integrated structure no doubt makes financial and logistical sense for WPP, but will only have relevance to a very small number of clients. One risk to WPP of such a move is the increased likelihood of the consolidated entitys fee structures being homogenised in order to sell diversified services which in turn could inadvertently impede the profitability of the higher margin earning businesses.
Jez Frampton, Chief executive, Interbrand
The holy grail of the large marketing conglomerates is to make their constituent parts work together for the financial benefit of the whole organisation. Im not sure that this is the same as working for the benefit of the customer. In my experience, this internal collaboration is in any case very difficult to achieve as no-one is really rewarded for working together. In fact, the opposite is true. It might be different at WPP
John Holton, Director, Figtree
I cant see any. Putting five directly competitive companies into an internal holding group to gain synergies, when success is dependent on being different and better from each other, seems unlikely. If its just about shared services, why bother even announcing it? Besides, theyve already been round the block on this one with The Brand Union, which didnt exactly fly.
Patrick Smith, Chief executive officer, Europe andManaging director, London, FutureBrand
Benefits might be bulk-buying of flipcharts, pads, pens and pencils. And not to forget the important financial advantages of finding a global supplier of nice biscuits, mineral water and beautiful flower arrangements.
Stuart Dickinson, Creative director, Corporate Edge
With my ex-client hat on, its difficult to see any benefit beyond having one name to send the invoices to and somewhere to aim my increasingly sharp procurement team. Good luck to them.
Simon Gore, Joint managing director, Vibrandt