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VMLY&R Advertising

WPP continues consolidation with Assignment and Y&R forming VMLY&R in New Zealand


By Charlotte McEleny, Asia Editor

March 19, 2019 | 3 min read

WPP has taken its strategy of consolidation to New Zealand, merging Assignment Group with Y&R to create a New Zealand arm to its global business VMLY&R.


WPP merges Assignment Group into the VMLY&R brand

VMLY&R is an amalgamation of major agency brands VML and Y&R and is now one of WPP’s strategically “core” agency brands globally. It was one of the first major consolidation announcements from the advertising giant as it embarked on a strategy of simplification.

In New Zealand, it will be Assignment Group that is rolled in to create this brand with the agency’s Wellington office moving into Y&R’s and both rebranding as VMLY&R across the country.

According to WPP, current Y&R Wellington managing director Fleur Head will be appointed the managing director for VMLY&R Wellington, while James Mok will continue to lead the VMLY&R Auckland office. The new leadership team will have dual reporting lines to Sven Baker, New Zealand managing director WPP AUNZ, and VMLY&R’s AUNZ leadership team of Aden Hepburn and Pete Bosilkovski.

“Combining Assignment and Y&R with the vast scale and capability of VMLY&R globally will create an incredibly exciting opportunity to build an agency capable of delivering truly connected customer experiences,” said Baker.

Head, said: “I’m excited to have more digital, strategic and creative minds to collaborate with in solving business problems for our clients. I’ve always admired the Assignment ethos of judging their success on their clients’ success and bringing together a broad range of thinkers to solve problems.

“Together we’re determined to build fresh ways of working and co-creating to deliver value to clients in the capital.”

WPP chief executive Mark Read this week discussed the latest part of the business that was subject to change, Kantar. The measurement brand has consolidated its brands, which is speculated to be a part of ongoing discussions on the selling off of the business.

Read, speaking at Advertising Week Europe, said: “There's a lot of value that we can unlock in Kantar. Maybe emotionally I would have preferred to keep it inside WPP but rationally there’s a lot to do and this is the right way to go about releasing that value.”

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