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Kantar merges all brands under single name as WPP's merger plans continue


By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

March 18, 2019 | 4 min read

Kantar has announced it will retire the names of its brands and consolidate all services and offerings under the Kantar brand name.


The WPP-owned research company said the change will come into effect from April 2.

The WPP-owned research company said the change will come into effect from April 2, which will see its brands like Kantar Consulting, Kantar Health, Kantar IMRB, Kantar Media, Kantar Millward Brown, Kantar Public, Kantar TNS, Kantar Worldpanel, Lightspeed, and all country-specific brands, retired.

“The change in our branding reflects the operational changes already happening across our company, and is driven by a desire to achieve simplicity, scale and impact for our clients,” said Eric Salama, the chief executive officer at Kantar.

“This one change will make Kantar easier for clients to understand and work with. Removing barriers to co-creation and purposeful collaboration across our organization will make it easier for Kantar to build platforms and offers globally that address our clients’ most pressing needs.”

Mandy Pooler, the chief marketing officer at Kantar, added: “Together, Kantar understands more about how people think, feel, shop, share, vote and view than any other company. Simplifying our brand strategy is a subtle, but important signal of our evolution and our mission – inspiring the world’s most important organizations by providing the most complete understanding of the people they serve."

The move to consolidate all of Kantar's brands comes after WPP combined Wunderman, Possible and Cole & Weber within a single Wunderman Thompson Seattle office, months after bringing together J. Walter Thompson and Wunderman.

This merger comes after a tumultuous year for Kantar. Following the seismic resignation of Sir Martin Sorrell from Kantar’s parent company WPP amid scandal and accusations, it has been a time of huge change not just internally, but across the media and advertising landscape.

The sale of Kantar, one of WPP’s biggest assets was widely speculated about throughout the industry from April 2018 until the official announcement which broke later in November of that year. And while little has been revealed about the specifics of the deal, it has sparked widespread discussion of both WPP and Kantar’s brand strategy going forward.

When interviewed at Advertising Week Europe, successor to the WPP throne Mark Read, expressed his emotional attachment to Kantar, yet reiterated the media behemoth’s need to sell the company. Despite the belief that Read wanted to be rid of Kantar, the chief executive articulated his hopes that WPP will retain a 25-40% share in Kantar’s assets.

Meanwhile, amid these disruptions in the WPP family, its former CEO Sir Martin Sorrell has bounced back on the advertising scene with his newest venture, S4 Capital. The company’s acquisition of MediaMonks, followed shortly by MightyHive signaled Sorrell’s incredible sticking power. Moreover, the media mogul’s increased appearances at industry events, including at The Drum Arms, has solidified his resilient presence on the media scene.

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