WPP-owned Addison this week acquired low profile corporate branding group GTW Associates, as its parent group continued talks to buy out Tutssels and Lambie-Nairn, which together form The Brand Union (DW 17 September).
Directors of WPP and The Brand Union were still in meetings as Design Week went to press.
If they successfully broker a deal it will accelerate WPP’s long-term bid to dominate the design consultancy sector.
WPP group communications director Feona McEwan and Tutssels founder Glenn Tutssel both decline to comment on the nature of developments, but sources close to The Brand Union claim that only fine details are still under discussion.
Addison is set to absorb GTW after its deal, continuing to trade under the Addison name, and from its premises in Cathedral Street, London.
GTW is a two-man consultancy specialising in financial corporate branding. It has been run by former advertising partners Douglas Wright and Roger Taylor.
This “merger” aims to strengthen Addison and WPP Group’s interests in the financial sector, partly through GTW’s healthy client list.
The 11-year-old consultancy has worked with brands such as Barclays, NatWest, Legal & General, Guardian Insurance/ AXA, and GE Capital. It worked on the launch of Legal & General and its umbrella identity. Addison is already working with clients including NatWest and Halifax.
This move will bolster the consultancy side of Addison’s business, according to Addison managing director Quentin Anderson. “We already have a number of financial services clients but there is still a need to develop their brands beyond the annual report. We want to grow other areas of our business with the help of WPP,” he says.
Addison is best known for annual reports and corporate communications work. Wright and Taylor started work there as client directors earlier this week.