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Updated: WPP merges Wunderman and JWT

J Walter Thompson, founded in 1864 and one of the most august names in advertising, will cease to exist


By Gideon Spanier

Updated 18:10 on November 26, 2018, with quotes from global heads of WPP, JWT and Wunderman

WPP merges Wunderman and JWT
Mel Edwards and Tamara Ingram

WPP is to merge Wunderman and J Walter Thompson to form Wunderman Thompson.

Mel Edwards, global chief executive of Wunderman, will head the enlarged agency as global chief executive of Wunderman Thompson, which will have close to 20,000 staff in 90 markets.

Tamara Ingram, global chief executive of J Walter Thompson, will become chairman of Wunderman Thompson.

It means the end to one of the august names in global advertising, J Walter Thompson, which was founded in 1864.

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “Wunderman Thompson is a formidable combination, bringing together the capabilities our clients are demanding – award-winning creativity alongside deep expertise in technology, data and commerce – in a single organisation.

“Clients want greater simplicity from their partners and this development, like others at WPP, is designed to reshape our company around their needs.

“It’s great news for our clients that we can combine the best of JWT and Wunderman in a single agency, and it’s great news for WPP as it allows us to compete more effectively in the sectors with the most significant opportunities for future growth.”

Mel Edwards, Global Chief Executive Officer, Wunderman Thompson, said: “To achieve transformative outcomes, clients today need inspiration that is rooted in data-driven insight. I’m really excited to be able to deliver that within one agency. Wunderman Thompson offers precisely what clients want: brilliant creativity, expertise in data and sophisticated technology skills. I couldn’t be more honored to lead this new organization and its exceptional people.”

Tamara Ingram, Chairman, Wunderman Thompson, added: “Both JWT and Wunderman have been built by the commitment of many talented people, whose combined capabilities will further distinguish us in the market. Coming together was a decision driven by the opportunity to better serve our clients, expand our offering and create an agency effectively positioned for the future. As Wunderman Thompson we will deliver world-class services in every geography, and work that is more meaningful and more impactful than ever.”

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