WPP merges Y&R, VML


The world’s largest advertising company, WPP said it has merged the operations of Y&R and VML.

The merger will now create a new company called VMLY&R.

WPP said Y&R’s global chief executive and chairman David Sable has been made non-executive chairman, but he is also taking an as-yet-unconfirmed role elsewhere in WPP.

In addition, Y&R global president David Patton’s future is uncertain, with the role of president at VMLY&R going to his VML counterpart Eric Campbell. An agency spokesman said it was in discussions with Patton regarding his next move.

Cook and Campbell have worked for VML since 1996 and 1999 respectively.

WPP announced that VMLY&R will be fully operational in early 2019. The holding company described its proposition as being “to create connected brands that drive value for clients”.

The company said Cook will report to WPP chief executive Mark Read, who said the two agencies “have distinct and complementary strengths spanning creative, technology and data services that make them a perfect match”.

Read continued: “This is an important step as we build a new, simpler WPP that provides clients with a fully integrated offering and easy access to our wealth of talent and resources,” Read continued.

Cook said: “I’m thrilled for the VMLY&R team as we start this journey together and harness the best of each agency to deliver culturally relevant world-class work. The landscape of our industry is changing rapidly and we are committed to being an invaluable partner to CMOs around the world.”

VMLY&R clients include Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dell, Ford, Office Depot, PepsiCo, Pfizer and Wendy’s.

Martin Sorrell was the former CEO of WPP but was pushed out after allegations of financial misconduct.