Advertising group WPP has announced the merger of its Geometry and VMLY&R global businesses to form VMLY&R Commerce, a new end-to-end “creative commerce company” combining the talent and scale of both.
It comes just days after WPP announced the merger of its Grey and AKQA agencies to form AKQA Group.
VMLY&R Commerce, which will operate as a distinct company within the VMLY&R global network, will be fully operational from Jan. 1, 2021, according to the announcement. The integration of the agencies’ teams and assets will continue throughout the year.
WPP said that the merger will combine the commerce capabilities of both businesses to serve clients at a time of unprecedented global growth in e-commerce. The newly formed agency will be led by Beth Ann Kaminkow, previously the global CEO of Geometry. It aims to help connected brands grow by unifying client strategies around commerce to drive brand equity and conversion.
“Consumer experiences today are centered on commerce, making it increasingly important to our clients’ marketing and media decisions,” said Kaminkow. “As the pandemic accelerates new consumer behaviors and expectations, commerce is fast becoming the next channel for the most creative engagements and experiences.
“With the launch of VMLY&R Commerce, we can now offer our clients creative commerce at scale, harnessing data and technology to build brands and sell products across channels.”
Geometry has proven to be a key partner in helping clients navigate the new commerce landscape, according to the merger announcement, while VMLY&R has also experienced substantial momentum across its customer experience practice, expanding its e-commerce business with client partners.
The merger aims to provide a best-in-class, end-to-end service to clients, leveraging the combined assets of the Geometry and VMLY&R networks, which between them have more than 11,000 employees in 80 countries.
It will use Geometry’s proprietary Living Commerce platform to guide strategic commerce consultation, development and activation across retail, design, experiential and innovation disciplines. The platform provides insight into how, when and why people buy, to deliver creative commerce solutions.
“I’m thrilled to work with Beth Ann on the evolution of our collective commerce offering through VMLY&R Commerce,” said Jon Cook, VMLY&R’s global CEO. “We have been partnering closely across many clients and it is clear we share a vision and belief in the role commerce plays in a consumer’s journey and creating connected brands.
“Importantly, we both have a deep passion for leading our businesses with a focus on culture — both internally and with our client partners, which is essential in creating a new company built for the future.”
WPP CEO Mark Read said: “2020 has seen explosive growth in e-commerce as brands adapt to a new reality. This new company will offer outstanding creativity, industry-leading commerce expertise, and sophisticated data and technology skills to help brands grow in an omni-channel world. It also meets clients’ needs for simple, tightly integrated propositions from their marketing-services partners.”