Following the recent merger of agencies AKQA and Grey, another two of WPP’s agencies, Geometry and VMLY&R, have joined forces to launch VMLY&R COMMERCE, a new end-to-end creative commerce company.
Operating as a distinct company within the VMLY&R global network, VMLY&R COMMERCE will be led by global chief executive officer Beth Ann Kaminkow, who is currently the global CEO of Geometry. VMLY&R COMMERCE will leverage the combined assets of the Geometry and VMLY&R, which will have more than 11,000 employees across 80 countries worldwide. It will be fully operational from 1 January 2021, and the integration of the agencies’ teams and assets will continue through 2021.
VMLY&R COMMERCE is said to be central to the VMLY&R network’s total brand and customer experience offering. It will help connected brands grow by unifying client strategies around commerce to drive both brand equity and conversion.
Mark Read (pictured), CEO of WPP, said the new company will offer creativity, industry-leading commerce expertise, and data and technology skills to help brands grow in an omni-channel world. He added that it will also meet clients’ needs for simple, tightly integrated propositions from their marketing services partners.
According to a press release, Geometry has proven to be a key partner in helping clients navigate the new commerce landscape, while VMLY&R has seen substantial momentum across its customer experience practice, expanding its eCommerce business with client partners. VMLY&R COMMERCE will then align these global powerhouses to create a “best-in-class, end-to-end offer” for its clients.
VMLY&R COMMERCE will also tap on Geometry’s Living Commerce platform to guide strategic commerce consultation, development and activation across retail, design, experiential and innovation disciplines. Living Commerce facilitates the understanding of how, when and why people buy to deliver creative commerce solutions based on real human insights, driving commercial impact.
Kaminkow said with the launch of VMLY&R COMMERCE, the agency aims to offer clients creative commerce at scale, harnessing data and technology to build brands and sell products across channels. “Consumer experiences today are centered on commerce, making it increasingly important to our clients’ marketing and media decisions. As the pandemic accelerates new consumer behaviors and expectations, commerce is fast becoming the next channel for the most creative engagements and experiences,” she added.
The launch of VMLY&R COMMERCE comes a week after WPP merged two of its other agencies, AKQA and Grey, to form a new network model, AKQA Group. With the merger, WPP is also retiring the Grey name. The combined entity is said to 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 top 20. The new agency will also provide a full range of brand experience capabilities across all communications platforms, strengthening the skills and services of both companies for clients.