WPP consolidation continues as US health units merge into VMLY&R, Ogilvy and Wunderman

WPP's New York office

Agency network WPP is forging ahead with its consolidation commitments by integrating its health agencies into some of its largest US agency brands.

Following VMLY&R's formation from the merger of VML and Y&R, the new entity has now also absorbed the Sudler network to form VMLY&R Health. Meanwhile, Ogilvy CommonHealth joins Ogilvy to become Ogilvy Health and Ghg enters Wunderman to create Wunderman Health. Health offerings at Grey and J. Walter Thompson continue business as usual.

The group claimed the move was made to marry “deep health expertise with creative technology and data firepower”.

New WPP chief executive Mark Read’s integration ambitions will be realized in the first half of 2019. Furthermore, the WPP’s health umbrella group, WPP Health & Wellness, will be retired – its chief executive Mike Hudnall will be charged with leading a new health practice across the agencies. Internationally, Claire Gillis, will lead the healthcare businesses.

Read said: “Health is an important and expanding sector for WPP. Our new healthcare offering is another step in our evolution as we create a simpler WPP that integrates the full power of our company for clients.”

Hudnall added: “Integrating our capabilities with the agency brands and operating as a practice will allow us to bring greater impact and flexibility to our clients in the health sector. The new structure offers clients increased strategic partnership and a simple way to access the largest pool of health specialists in the world.”

The consolidation comes at a time when rival Publicis puts its under-performing Publicis Health Services unit to auction.

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