WPP's GroupM has consolidated MEC and Maxus amid what it described as "a very competitive marketplace" with cost savings from the merger to be used to fund the expansion of digital ad agency Essence.
In combining 15-year-old MEC with nine-year-old Maxus, WPP is looking to save money by cutting back on office space, IT and staff - although the company has said that no targets have been set for job cuts or the savings from such reductions.
"We operate in a very competitive sector in a very competitive marketplace, and we do have to find efficiencies so we can invest in areas that will give us longer-term growth" said Kelly Clark to the Wall Street Journal, who was appointed to head up GroupM last year.
"We’re committed to improving our service to clients. These moves will give us greater focus, help us innovate, and improve our speed of delivery," he added in a statement.
The new entity, which has no name as of yet, is being pitched as a "billion dollar revenue, media, content and technology agency" and will be led by Tim Castree, currently chief executive of MEC.
“Maxus and MEC share common values and ambitions. Both networks have a strong local market presence and entrepreneurial drive,” explained Castree. "Together, we believe we can create an exciting new media, content and technology agency which we look forward to introducing soon."
Lindsay Pattison, chief executive of Maxus, was named GroupM's chief transformation officer last month. She said this also allows the business to more "meaningfully invest in each agency’s future"
"Retaining and attracting the best talent with inspiring and rewarding workplaces, creating differentiated cultures and approaches, and sharing in a focus on helping clients win," she said.
Meanwhile, the plan to expand Essence will see it expand into six new markets over the coming year while the services it offers will also be opened up to include more traditional media.