e.wire No. 201 - December 2015
WPP news bulletin

e.wire is WPP’s monthly public round-up of news and initiatives across the Group’s worldwide network. The following are edited highlights; view the full version here.

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Grey named Global Agency of the Year by Adweek

Following a highly successful year which saw Grey win numerous accolades at Cannes and at the Clio Awards, alongside a very strong new business performance, Adweek has recognised this achievement by naming the network as its Global Agency of the Year. This is the second time in three years that Grey has picked up the title. Reporting on the award, Adweek said CEO Jim Heekin and Chief Creative Officer Tor Myhren were “intensely focused, driven leaders who inspire their teams to exceed expectations”.

MEC wins L’Oréal US media business

Following an eight-month review, L’Oréal has consolidated its US media business with GroupM’s MEC. Previously, L’Oréal – one of the biggest advertisers in the US, whose portfolio of brands includes Maybelline and Lancôme – used a number of different agencies to handle media.

Australian and New Zealand businesses to merge with STW

WPP has agreed to merge its Australian and New Zealand businesses with STW Communications Group and increase its shareholding from 23.6% to 61.5%. The consolidated group will become the primary vehicle for WPP in Australia and New Zealand. Founded in 1985 and listed in 1994, STW offers clients a comprehensive and integrated range of marketing, content and communications services. WPP has been an investor in STW since 1998.

GroupM appoints new CEO for US and Canada

Brian Lesser, Global CEO at Xaxis, has been appointed CEO of GroupM North America. He succeeds Kelly Clark who moves to a new advisory role focused on strategic initiatives with clients. GroupM Global Chief Digital Officer, Rob Norman, adds the position of Chairman, North America to his responsibilities.

Latest worldwide advertising forecasts revealed

GroupM has issued its bi-annual global advertising expenditure forecast, which predicts ad investment growth of 3.4 percent in 2015 and 4.5 percent in 2016. These are slight downgrades from GroupM’s predictions at midyear for 2015 and 2016 which were 4.0 percent and 4.8 percent respectively.

New Offers

Beirut- and Dubai-based Cleartag to join J. Walter Thompson

J. Walter Thompson has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Cleartag, an independent full-service digital marketing consultancy in Lebanon and the UAE. Founded in 2000, Cleartag offers a broad range of digital consulting, user experience, advertising and campaign services. The agency employs around 65 people in Beirut and Dubai.

MEC London launches new division

Jason Dormieux, joint CEO of MEC London, has announced the formation of MEC Tonic, a new offer delivering tech-first solutions to clients via start-ups and early stage companies. It has been launched to drive marketing transformation by helping brands use emerging technology at the points in the customer journey that have the biggest impact on purchase decisions.

Maxus agrees to acquire media buying agency in the Netherlands

Helder Marketing & Communicatie, a media buying agency based in Amsterdam, is to join the Group as part of Maxus. Founded in 2006, Helder is a value-added media agency with a focus on direct response and ROI evaluation services. It specialises in DRTV but also offers marketing consultancy, creative services and print management services to its clients in the Benelux.

Digital and social media agency Yonder Media acquired by GroupM

GroupM has taken a majority stake in Yonder Media in South Africa. Established in 2005, Yonder Media is a mobile-first digital and social media agency. Its proprietary technology framework supports a broad range of services covering mobile and social media strategy, media planning, buying and management and application development. Based in Johannesburg, the agency employs around 30 people.

New Business

Microsoft Australia appoints VML Australia as its lead strategic and creative agency.

Crop Protection Association appoints Cohn & Wolfe London to advise on media relations and issues management.


MEC China has appointed Gordon Domlija as CEO. Prior to his move to MEC, he was CEO of MediaCom Shanghai.

Hill+Knowlton Strategies names Jenny Åström as CEO of its Swedish operations. Åström spent a year at H+K in 2013, before moving to Telenor where she served as Communication Manager and acting Director of Communication and CSR.


Hill+Knowlton Strategies France wins Grand Prix at the Communication et Entreprise Awards for its work on P&G's 60th anniversary.

NATIVE VML CEO Jason Xenopoulos wins Entrepreneur of the Year at the annual All Africa Business Leaders Awards.

New Business Enquiries

Are you looking for an advertising or marketing services partner? WPP can help point you in the right direction — find out how.


GroupM predicts strong 2016 UK ad spending

GroupM predicts strong 2016 UK ad spending

UK advertising spending in 2015 is expected to grow by seven percent, according to GroupM, followed by another year of strong growth in 2016 (also seven percent), pushing total UK advertising investment above £17bn. If GroupM’s forecasts prove accurate, 2016 will be the fifth straight year in which UK ad spending has outpaced the country’s GDP growth.

A new social contract

A new social contract

Ogilvy’s Jeremy Katz and Robert John Davis, together with Alta Sparling and Bing Chen from Victorious, have written a Red Paper titled The Digital Social Contract which looks to uncover the unspoken social rules governing the digital world and what brands need to do to thrive in it.

Breakthrough Insights – Second Half 2015

Breakthrough Insights – Second Half 2015

Kantar Retail has launched its second-half Breakthrough Insights publication Post-Retail Retail: People, Process, and Profits as part of its six-monthly “best of the best” collection. The report uses selected pieces that serve to explore future trends in the retail space between now and 2020.

WPP Reading Room

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