WPP to merge J Walter Thompson and Wunderman agencies

WPP is to merge global ad agency J. Walter Thompson and digital agency Wunderman to form ‘Wunderman Thompson’, which will be headquartered in New York and London.

Mel Edwards, global chief executive of Wunderman, will head the enlarged agency as global chief executive and Tamara Ingram, global chief executive of J Walter Thompson, will become chairman of Wunderman Thompson.

Mel Edwards said “To achieve transformative outcomes, clients today need inspiration that is rooted in data-driven insight. I am really excited to be able to deliver that within one agency. Wunderman Thompson offers precisely what clients want, brilliant creativity, expertise in data and sophisticated technology skills”

WPP was built by its former chief executive Martin Sorrell through acquisition and consists of dozens of companies specialising in media buying and planning, data analytics and creative advertising work for clients.

However, the group and its peers, such as Publicis, are simplifying their operations to better appeal to the biggest brands that buy advertising. WPP has already announced plans to merge its Young & Rubicam and VML agencies as part of a streamlining push by Mark Read, its new chief executive.