Chris Hitchcock, Switched On’s managing director will continue to lead the Switched On team and will join the AKQA executive team, reporting into Brian Vella, managing partner of AKQA in Asia Pacific.
The combined entity will use AKQA's name and draw on the skills of a combined 300 team members.
“This is two teams with momentum becoming one, and a bold move by them both. It’s driven by a burning desire to provide pioneering solutions from two highly experienced senior local teams,” said John Steedman, the interim chief executive of WPP AUNZ.
“Joining Switched On and AKQA formalises the close working relationship both agencies already have. The partnership uniquely combines media, tech, data and design literally under one roof. The result is a stronger client offering and WPP AUNZ is proud to support them.”
The merger of Switched On and AKQA comes on the heels of WPP bringing together J. Walter Thompson and Wunderman, combining Wunderman, Possible and Cole & Weber within a single Wunderman Thompson Seattle office and merging the UK arms of Possible and Mirum.
WPP also retired the names of its brands and consolidate all services and offerings under its research company, Kantar to a single brand name. However, it is now looking to offload Kantar to Bain Capital for around $4bn.
It recently acquired a majority stake in Italian technology-driven creative agency AQuest.