WPP is integrating its healthcare units in the U.S. with agency brands in a bid to create what it is calling a “simpler, more flexible offer” for its healthcare clients.
It’s the latest move by the holding company to streamline its portfolio, and follows the recent merger of VML and Y&R. Earlier, it merged media shops MEC and Maxus to create Wavemaker and put Possible under the Wunderman fold.
With the healthcare reshuffling, the Sudler network will combine with VMLY&R, creating VMLY&R Health. Ogilvy CommonHealth will join Ogilvy, creating Ogilvy Health and ghg will join Wunderman, as part of Wunderman Health.
Meanwhile, Grey and J. Walter Thompson will continue to provide their existing integrated health offerings.
The new approach is designed to optimize the holding company’s extensive health expertise with creative technology and data firepower, while highlighting the firm’s commitment to fully integrated solutions that are easier for clients to utilize.
The healthcare integration process is underway, and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019. WPP Health & Wellness, the “sub-holding company” that currently houses WPP’s specialist health networks, will be retired.
Mike Hudnall, currently CEO of WPP Health & Wellness, will oversee the consolidated operation, reporting to WPP CEO Mark Read.
Internationally, WPP offers a consolidated healthcare practice that includes services provided by ghg, Sudler and Ogilvy HealthWorld under the umbrella unit WPP Health & Wellness International. That will remain unchanged, and Claire Gillis, CEO of the operation, will continue in that role.
Stated Read: “Health is an important and expanding sector for WPP. Our new healthcare offering is another step in our evolution as we create a simpler WPP that integrates the full power of our company for clients.”