Context and challenge
Mark Read became CEO of WPP Group – the world’s largest creative, communications, content and technology company – in September 2018. WPP Group takes nearly $72bn in billings from many of the world’s most recognised brands, including Coca-Cola, Ford and Shell.
At the heart of Read’s new strategy for the Group is a recognition that many of WPP’s customers will have needs that different WPP operating companies can meet. In order for WPP to meet customer demands seamlessly, Read has initiated a consolidation programme, to bring together WPP’s 350 operating companies.
With a wide range of technologies in use throughout WPP Group, part of the consolidation programme will deliver a standard set of workplace tools, so that technology is used more consistently. This will empower WPP employees to create, share and communicate with one another easily, when working to deliver world-class projects for their customers.
In November 2018 Read announced the consolidation of J. Walter Thompson, the world’s oldest advertising agency, with digital network Wunderman, to become Wunderman Thompson. This new super-agency brings together creativity, data and technology, employing 25,000 people across 200 locations and 90 global markets.
Wunderman Thompson have set out to establish a new global gold standard, delivering their technology consolidation in months, where the norm for a 25,000 person organisation with multiple operating companies is often set in years.
At the same time, WPP Group would have a proven technology platform and rapid integration approach, to manage their global consolidation.