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WPP has formally launched Enterprise Identity Group, a global identity consultancy made up of five WPP design consultancies led by Sampson Tyrrell and Anspach Grossman Portugal. A full merger could follow.

The consultancies – Sampson Tyrrell in London, Anspach Grossman Portugal in New York, SBG Partners in San Francisco and Chicago, Artistree in Hong Kong and Ogilvy & Mather Identity in Taiwan – have been setting up the venture for two years. They have a combined revenue of 30m and more than 250 employees.

Coley Porter Bell, which was working with SBG on a similar concept, is not part of the Enterprise venture. CPB managing director Amanda Connelly says it was her choice not to take part. “We were invited to join, but I felt that CPB’s offer would be diluted by becoming part of a bigger network like Enterprise.”

Sam Sampson, WPP’s European design co-ordinator, says it would have “been damaging for CPB to become confused with Sampson Tyrrell in the Enterprise network. It’s more valuable for WPP to have two strong brands”. Sampson adds that “much less came from the CPB/SBG relationship than from Sampson Tyrrell and Anspach Grossman”.

All of the five consultancies have added Enterprise to their names – Sampson Tyrrell becoming Sampson Tyrrell Enterprise. AGP is now known as Anspach Grossman Enterprise.

The new group follows market research commissioned by WPP in 1993 among 25 global companies, with deliberate inclusion of Landor clients. “Virtually 100 per cent of global businesses surveyed welcomed the service, would consider using it and would almost certainly include it on any identity pitch list,” says Sampson.

He adds: “It is not inconceivable that the five groups could become one company, if it made commercial sense.”

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