Millward Brown Acquires Strategy Shop EffectiveBrands

WPP ad-marketing research unit Millward Brown has acquired marketing strategy consulting firm EffectiveBrands. 

Millward Brown will combine EffectiveBrands with Millward Brown Optimor, its strategy consulting unit, to form Millward Brown Vermeer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"With the formation of Millward Brown Vermeer, we are strengthening and expanding our offer to help organizations answer the key questions that unleash brand-led business growth and ensure that the resulting strategies are implemented effectively around the world," says Travyn Rhall, CEO, Millward Brown. 

Vermeer will be led by an executive board, including Mario Simon, currently president and global chair of Millward Brown Optimor, as CEO; EffectiveBrands co-founder Frank van den Driest as chief commercial officer; and co-founder Marc de Swaan Arons as the company's CMO. 

Millward Brown Vermeer will serve clients globally with offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Cape Town, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney.

International presence and proprietary insight were key to this acquisition, per the companies. EffectiveBrands' Marketing2020 study is recognized as one of the most global and comprehensive CMO research programs and helps global CMOs align marketing strategy, structure, and capability with business growth.

Now, in addition to the Marketing2020 study, Millward Brown Vermeer's thought leadership includes the BrandZ brand valuation database, which publishes the annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, along with studies for the Chinese and Latin American markets.

"We are excited to be bringing together, in an unprecedented way, the power of strategy consulting and marketing practitioner expertise to create a 'whole-brain' advisory offer for our clients," says Simon. 

EffectiveBrands was founded in 2001 and employs 65 workers. Millward Brown operates in more than 55 countries and is part of research arm Kantar.  

Parent company WPP made 62 acquisitions or small-sized deals last year, with acquisitions accounting for 2.2% of WPP's revenue growth in 2013.

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