More Agency Consolidation At WPP As Rockfish Becomes Part Of VML

WPP has made another agency consolidation move, placing digital shop Rockfish within VML, its larger digital sibling agency.  

With the addition of Rockfish, which has a large ecommerce practice, VML will grow to more than 3,000 employees in 33 locations worldwide. With the reorganization Rockfish will retain its current brand but as a new division within VML.

Michael Stich, Rockfish CEO, and Dawn Maire, Rockfish president and chief strategy officer, will continue to lead the agency as it becomes a unit of VML. They are now part of the VML Executive Leadership Team, per the agency.

The VML-Rockfish combination is the latest agency consolidation move made by WPP in recent months. In June, it confirmed it was combining MEC and Maxus, which today unveiled its new name—Wavemaker.

Also in June, Mindshare absorbed Ogilvy’s Neo; in July, the holding company merged Possible into Wunderman.



Founded in 2005, Rockfish has offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Cincinnati, Northwest Arkansas and Minneapolis. The agency’s client rosters includes major marketers, such as Walmart, Mars, Southwest Airlines and MetroPCS.

For years, VML and Rockfish have partnered across clients, including Colgate-Palmolive, Ford and Kimberly-Clark.

“VML has always been about making an impact across the entire connected consumer experience – from point of inspiration to engagement to long-term consumer relationship,” stated Jon Cook, VML global CEO. “Rockfish plays across all of that, but also brings an unmatched depth and best-in-class experience to digital innovation, ecommerce and modern loyalty solutions.

Extending this expertise into VML will allow us the opportunity to offer a truly reimagined relevance to the lead agency model.”

Added WPP CEO Martin Sorrell: “With Rockfish becoming part of VML, the enlarged VML becomes an even more comprehensive offer covering the entire consumer journey. It aligns two of WPP’s best performing and most accomplished agencies to create a highly relevant offering to lead clients through an increasingly complex and fragmented marketing environment.”

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