In its latest agency consolidation move, WPP has folded commerce shop Geometry into global agency network VMLY&R. Geometry and VMLY&R’s existing commerce team are being merged into a new entity called VMLY&R Commerce.
The agency said that VMLY&R Commerce will operate as a distinct company within the VMLY&R global network. It will be led by Global CEO Beth Ann Kaminkow, currently Global CEO of Geometry.
The move comes amid sharp growth in ecommerce activity by consumers as a result of the pandemic. With commerce becoming a cornerstone for many brands—particularly linking ecommerce and off-line commerce activities-- the new operation is designed to help clients built out commerce capabilities to drive brand equity and conversion.
Kaminkow stated, “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 that the new offering provides clients “creative commerce at scale, harnessing data and technology to build brands and sell products across channels.”
Geometry’s existing offering includes its proprietary “Living Commerce” platform that offers strategic commerce consultation, development and activation across retail, design, experiential and innovation disciplines.
Jon Cook, VMLY&R Global CEO, noted that, “We have been partnering closely across many clients and it is clear we share a vision and belief in the role commerce plays in a consumer’s journey and creating connected brands. Importantly, we both have a deep passion for leading our businesses with a focus on culture – both internally and with our client partners which is essential in creating a new company built for the future.”
VMLY&R Commerce will be up and running by January although the full integration of teams and assets will continue through 2021.
The move follows similar combinations within WPP’s agency portfolio over the past couple of years, including VMLY&R which is the product of the merger of VML and Young & Rubicam. Just last week, the holding company folded Grey with AKQA to form AKQA Group. The moves are part of a broader strategy by the holding company to make company operations more effective and efficient and easier to understand and navigate by clients.