J. Walter Thompson Melbourne partners with independent creative agency Girl

Jo Talbot (Girl), Michael Godwin (JWT), Elizabeth Wilmott (Girl), and Simon McCrudden, Georgia Bruton and Kieran Antill (JWT)

J. Walter Thompson Melbourne has teamed with independent creative agency Girl to bolster its expertise in fashion and retail.

The alliance will see Girl staff, including founders Elizabeth Wilmott and Jo Talbot, move into JWT’s Melbourne office. The two agencies will operate as a team and will share clients and staff, however, Girl will retain its separate branding.

The move is part of a strategy by JWT to boost its expertise in the areas of specialist fashion, health and retail clients. The move also provides Girl’s staff and clients with access to JWT’s network and talent.

The two agencies will work together on retail clients such as Terry White Chemmart and Harris Scarfe.

Michael Godwin, managing director of J. Walter Thompson, said, “The growth we’ve enjoyed over recent years has been fueled by an ability to tailor our offer around each client’s needs. To do this, you need an office full of people with different backgrounds and skillsets, woven through the agency.”

“Bringing them and the team from Girl into the J. Walter Thompson ‘family’ strengthens our ability to further customise our offer, thanks to their deep experience in certain client sectors, such as Health, Retail and Fashion – sectors that are very important to our business and existing clients such as Terry White Chemmart and Harris Scarfe,” said Godwin.

Elizabeth Wilmott, co-founder of Girl, said: “[We] are finding that increasingly, clients come to us to provide certain services, but they’re more inclined to give bigger opportunities to larger, better resourced agencies. To access more of these opportunities, we needed more scale. We also felt that having access to a bigger pool of talent would benefit our existing clients.

“Beyond providing scale, we wanted to join forces with an agency that we felt to be culturally aligned; to share a similar ambition for the type of enduring client partnerships we seek to foster; and one we could help through our experience across particular client sectors, and vice versa. After a year of ‘dating’, we’re confident we’ve found that partner in J. Walter Thompson,” said Wilmott.

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