Brian Wieser is stepping down as Global President-Business Intelligence of WPP's GroupM unit.
Wieser, who announced late last year that he was turning over day-to-day operations of GroupM's forecasting and business intelligence to successor, Global Director for Business Intelligence Kate Scott-Dawkins, has not disclosed what he plans to do next, but at least part of it will continue being co-host with Scott-Dawkins on their weekly "This Week Next Week" podcast.
Wieser, who began covering Madison Avenue, media and technology companies as a Wall Street analyst, first joined the ad industry as a forecaster in IPG Mediabrands' Magna unit in 2003, and eventually succeeded pioneering ad industry forecaster Bob Coen, going on to change the holding company's forecasting methodology from a top-down global agency network view to a painstaking bottoms-up analysis of publicly reported data from media companies and key advertisers, supplemented with a variety of sources of other macroeconomic and industry-specific data.
Magna continues to utilize that methodology to this day, even as Wieser went on to create what is arguably the industry's best economic analysis unit, grooming Scott-Dawkins and ultimately turning it over to her.
The Business Intelligence team's work in transparently reporting on the advertising and media economy in both their weekly podcasts, as well as key benchmark reports such as their semi-annual global industry forecasts, was a big factor in MediaPost naming GroupM our agency holding company-level unit of the year for 2022.
"In 2019 I came into my role to build on foundations established by Rob Norman and the late Adam Smith, keen to add to my knowledge of the industry from time as a securities analyst and at IPG before that, but with an open mind towards whatever would follow," Wieser wrote in an email sent early this morning to various contacts, adding, "I am incredibly thankful for the time I was able to spend improving existing products, constructing new frameworks of understanding and broadening my views of the business in collaboration with thousands of WPP colleagues and clients."
"By now you are hopefully aware that my successor as GroupM’s lead forecaster is Kate Scott-Dawkins, who has worked closely with me over the past year. If you’ve read her work (such as the most recent This Year, Next Year or September’s E-Commerce and Retail Media Forecast) you know she’ll elevate these efforts to even higher levels than I ever took them. WPP, GroupM and everyone outside the company who will rely on her for guidance on the trajectory of the media industry will be in great hands as a result."
The last time Wieser left an ad industry role -- departing Magna -- he went back to Wall Street as an equity researcher at Pivotal Research Group, following a short run as CMO of Simulmedia.