WPP launches health and wellness unit

WPP launched a new health and wellness unit.

Global communications service group WPP announced the formation of WPP Health & Wellness, a sub-holding company it said unites its “broad capability” under one banner to “significantly advance its [offering] and partnership with clients across the spectrum of health and wellness," the company said in a press release.

“Created with a strong global perspective on the challenges and opportunities in today’s health industry, WPP Health & Wellness will build on WPP’s areas of competitive advantage to accelerate growth, new opportunities and better health outcomes for clients.”

WPP Health & Wellness will be led by Global CEO Mike Hudnall.

The company said its strategy includes three initial priorities in 2017:

1. Creating a new healthcare specialist unit.

WPP said WPP Health & Wellness is placing four specialist agencies — Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, Sudler & Hennessey, ghg | greyhealth group and CMI/Compas — into a new specialized healthcare unit. The agencies will continue to operate under their current brands, but “will now be united by a shared vision and purpose, leverage shared services and resources and mobilize talent across the unit to deliver the full depth and breadth of their specialized services to clients."

In the Americas, the agencies will continue to be led by their current leadership. To service the rest of the world, the company said it is creating a new international healthcare specialist unit with hubs in Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. Claire Gillis has been appointed to lead this international division as International CEO of Healthcare Specialist Agencies. She previously was CEO of ghg | greyhealth group Europe.

“Individually our healthcare agencies are well known and respected for their strong partnership and meaningful work they deliver for our clients,” Hudnall said in a statement. “This new structure centers on keeping those brands and cultures alive, [building] on those strengths and [enabling] new cross-agency collaboration that will benefit our clients and provide greater career opportunities for our people. We are focused on sharing best practices, scaling our strengths and developing new services.”

2. Developing a specialized health consulting service.

Focused on providing strategic counsel for clients, WPP Health & Wellness will create a new health consulting capability. The service will build on the group’s current brand strategy, medical affairs and market access capabilities to further advance its specialized offering, WPP said.

3. Creating the industry’s most robust health-focused data and insights offering.

WPP claimed it has more data sources and proprietary data assets than its competitors and will work with companies like Kantar, GroupM and Wunderman to create one of the first-ever data and analytics capabilities and offerings in health. This will provide clients with more sophisticated segmentation and targeting, the ability to use data to deliver more valuable information to change behavior and to deliver better health outcomes.

In a statement, WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said: “Health and wellness is one of the most exciting sectors of the global economy and offers enormous opportunities for our businesses. WPP Health & Wellness will build on the excellent work we are already doing in this space and take us into new areas with a much more comprehensive offer. This new unit is significant because it represents the next evolution of horizontality, through which WPP will continue to lead and transform health marketing.”

Hudnall added: “Our clients today live in an increasingly regulated, outcomes-based and consumer-driven world that presents complex challenges and significant opportunity for their business. We have been incredibly successful to date and I am excited to build on our achievements and provide our clients with a higher level of strategic partnership, an expanded range of specialized modern services and specialized healthcare capabilities in new sectors.”

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