Coley Porter Bell is forging stronger links with WPP Group stablemate Ogilvy & Mather, following a year of collaborations on shared clients. But all parties deny that a merger is on the cards.
CPB chief executive officer Amanda Connolly says, “We are looking for opportunities to work together where they exist.”
Connolly, who sits on the O&M group board, anticipates a “formalisation” of the relationship. “It’s not a merger, but we’ll be O&M’s brand and identity offer,” she says.
The two groups have already worked “as a 360-degree team” for clients such as Kimberley-Clark and nappy brand Huggies. This has helped CPB’s financial performance, says WPP Group chief executive identity and design, Europe, Sam Sampson. But he dismisses the idea of a merger, adding that O&M or CPB might work with other WPP agencies.
Connolly, who has been with CPB for 12 years, is looking for a new role within WPP, possibly from next year, following the announcement of two board-level appointments at CPB.
Cheryl Giovannoni, global board account director at ad agency Lowe Lintas, joins CPB as managing director in the autumn, probably in October.
Beth Barry, executive planning director at O&M, will be joining on 6 August as director of strategy and director of Visual.PlanningSM, which translates a written brief into visual language.
Connolly has not ruled out a liaison role between CPB and O&M. Sampson, however, sees her developing a bigger role for CPB, and dealing with bigger clients.