WPP merges Brand Union, The Partners, Lambie-Nairn, Addison Group and VBAT to form one global agency

The consolidated agencies

WPP has consolidated five of its leading brand consultancies and design agencies into one entity.

Brand Union, The Partners, Lambie-Nairn, Addison Group and VBAT will become one global agency, the name of which has not been revealed, ahead of its lauch in early 2018.

It will be led by Jim Prior, head of The Partners and Lambie-Nairn, while Simon Bolton, chief executive of Brand Union, will become executive chairman.

WPP cited a “client-centric plan for growth” as the reason for the consolidation, claiming it will give clients access to a wider, more connected array of services.

The Partners' creative heft, Lambie-Nairn's branding power, Addison's audience insight and the distribution capabilities of VBAT (which will retain its individual branding) will provide significant heft, WPP claimed in a statement.

It will employ 750 people in more than 20 countries, with client billings in excess of $100m worldwide.

Prior, who will take the title of global chief executive, said: "Our clients and our industry are ready for change and by bringing these agencies together, we can serve clients across the full range of sectors, capabilities and geographies. This convergence builds the next generation brand agency and is motivated by the opportunities for growth—for our clients and for us."

Bolton added: "Bringing our agencies together will instantly give our clients the benefit of scale and single point of access to a breadth of services that covers almost every aspect of brand and communications."

This is further evidence of consolidation within WPP as it looks to streamline its company flow, often swollen with the continual acquisitions that have made it the world’s largest ad network.

Back in July it emerged WPP is considering a merger of Possible Worldwide unit into Wunderman. Further to that, Rockfish was merged with VML earlier this month.

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John McCarthy

John is an entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum. He writes about the amazing marketing stories coming from the movie, TV, music and video game industries. He's also the hunt for the weirder trends in marketing and advertising.

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