Global merger for VML, Y&R
WPP has created VMLY&R after merging VML and Y&R. The new ad agency will be led by GCEO Jon Cook, currently VML GCEO, who will report to Mark Read, WPP CEO. David Sable, former Y&R GCEO, becomes non-executive chairman as he transitions to a new role in WPP.
“VMLY&R will be a powerful brand experience offering and a core agency brand for WPP,” says Read. “VML and Y&R have distinct and complementary strengths spanning creative, technology and data services that make them a perfect match. This is an important step as we build a new, simpler WPP that provides clients with a fully integrated offering and easy access to our wealth of talent and resources.”
VMLY&R will be an agency of more than 7 000 people, and one of WPP’s principal brands. It is meant to be fully operational in early 2019.
Y&R as an agency brand exited the South African market in early 2018 after the last office of the agency, in Johannesburg, was integrated into VML South Africa. At the time of publication, it was still unclear how the rebrand would affect the SA operation. According to AdAge, South African Jason Xenopoulos — who became VML chief vision officer plus EMEA CCO in February — will now lead the New York office of VMLY&R.
Update 28 September 2018: There are no plans to rebrand VML South Africa to VMLY&R, according to a company spokesperson.
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