RIYADH: Advertising and media giant WPP’s AKQA and Grey are uniting to form a new network model, AKQA Group.
The move follows other recent mergers of WPP agencies such as Wunderman Thompson, VMLY&R, and BCW.
Grey is best-known for its creative storytelling and global brand building at scale, and AKQA for its innovation and experience design skills.
With heightened demand for digital transformation and technology-driven capabilities, the link-up is aimed at creating a powerful new proposition for clients as a leading creative solutions company with a worldwide footprint.
The AKQA Group will have 6,000 people in more than 50 countries and a blue-chip client roster that includes more than half of the Fortune 500’s (list of the largest US corporations based on total annual revenue) top 20. It will provide a full range of brand experience capabilities across all communications platforms, strengthening the skills and services of both companies for clients.
AKQA founder Ajaz Ahmed and Grey Worldwide CEO Michael Houston will partner to lead the new group, with Ahmed as CEO and Houston as global president and chief operating officer of AKQA Group.
The AKQA Group will launch with the AKQA and Grey brands, which will be integrated over time into a single company based on client and market needs. The management team and creative leadership will be announced in the coming weeks, comprising leaders from AKQA and Grey.
Ahmed said: “Our goal is to expand horizons, combining the curiosity, ambition, imagination, and pioneering spirit of a startup with the reach of a global enterprise.
“This is an unparalleled opportunity for AKQA and Grey to bring our shared assets to life into a modern, creatively-led company, building upon our inspiring and useful work to create value for our clients, people, and communities.”
Houston said: “This exciting new partnership begins with what consumers expect, clients value, and brands need.
“Forming a new company that can deliver culture-driving ideas through technology at speed and scale is a potent proposition for our clients, large and small, and will allow us to offer the most powerful creative solutions in the industry,” he added.