After this week, there is no doubt that WPP CEO Mark Read plans to fulfill his promise to bring a “radical evolution” to the biggest name in advertising.
The news that J. Walter Thompson will merge with Wunderman is no less dramatic for being somewhat expected.
To many industry observers, the only real unknown was which creative shop would join forces with WPP’s secret weapon to bring the one-two punch of digital and creative services to clients around the world.
During October’s Q3 earnings call, Read acknowledged that the quarter had been “tough” and said the company needed “to take decisive action and [adopt] more radical thinking” as Omnicom overtook the network in market value.
“Killing off the JWT brand is a big, bold, brave move,” said Tom Denford, North American CEO of search consultancy ID Comms.
Denford, whose firm has overseen recent global media reviews for Mars, McDonald’s, GSK and LVMH, noted that JWT was “one of the few ad agency names recognized by the public” but said its “operations hadn’t kept with the times and sometimes seemed outdated.”