https://adgully.me/post/5348/wpp-unveils-strategic-focus-on-ai-to-drive-growth-and-margins

WPP unveils strategic focus on AI to drive growth and margins

WPP, a major agency holding company, has outlined a comprehensive strategy to drive growth and enhance margins, with a particular emphasis on leveraging opportunities in AI. WPP aims to save £125 million through network consolidation and another £175 million through efficiency improvements. It is undergoing restructuring, incurring a £125 million hit, which might involve job losses.WPP plans to invest significantly in AI, with an annual cash injection of £250m into proprietary technology.This investment aims to capitalize on the transformative potential of AI in the industry. CEO Mark Read emphasized that AI is viewed as an opportunity rather than a threat and highlighted the belief that AI will complement human creativity rather than replace it.Moreover, WPP is actively developing AI tools designed to augment its workforce rather than replace jobs. Chief Technology Officer Stephan Pretorius explained that these tools are intended to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of WPP's work, particularly in areas such as content creation and media performance. WPP aims to unlock the full potential of creative transformation to drive growth and build world-class, market-leading brands. This involves streamlining its agency brands and simplifying its operating model. Recent efforts include merging and simplifying agency brands such as Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R to create streamlined entities like VML.WPP's strategy reflects a proactive approach to adapting to industry changes, particularly the growing significance of AI, while also aiming to enhance operational efficiency and drive growth. The company's investments in AI and efforts to streamline its operations underscore its commitment to remaining competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape. Despite challenges, such as a decline in stock value over the past year, WPP appears focused on positioning itself for future success.
https://adgully.me/post/5299/wpp-unites-bcw-and-hill-knowlton-to-create-burson

WPP unites BCW and Hill & Knowlton to create Burson

WPP has announced the merger of its two largest communications agencies, Hill & Knowlton and BCW, to form Burson, a powerhouse delivering modern communications leadership at scale to clients across the world. The merged company will become an industry-leading, full-service communications agency focused on building and protecting reputation.Corey duBrowa, currently global CEO of BCW, has been named global CEO of Burson and AnnaMaria DeSalva, currently global chairman and CEO of Hill & Knowlton, has been named global chairman of Burson. Together, they will oversee agency strategy, client service, employee experience and culture. Burson will be operational from July 1, 2024, and its new brand will be unveiled later this year.This union of agencies will enable Burson to best serve clients in a complex and volatile environment in which strategic stakeholder communications has never been more critical. The new agency will draw on both organisations’ unrivaled talent base, exceptional global networks, investments in technology, creative capabilities, and public affairs and advisory specialties to drive reputation and value creation through the interdisciplinary solutions that clients demand now.The combination also creates immediate scale in sectors driving today’s most consequential innovation and economic growth, including healthcare and technology. The newly formed Burson will have more than 6,000 employees in 43 markets worldwide. Its name honours the late Harold Burson, a pioneer and founding figure of modern public relations and strategic communications.“Harold Burson believed strongly that actions are stronger than words, and he established honesty, transparency, integrity and excellence as the guiding principles of his business,” said Corey duBrowa. “Those principles are the foundational ideals of Burson, upon which we will set the bar for modern communications through our AI-first innovation pipeline. Together as Burson, we will bring insights, expert strategic counsel and technology solutions into a higher value offering for our clients to help them innovate and lead in today’s complex operating environment.”“The combination of Hill & Knowlton and BCW is highly synergistic, creating a premier partner for business leaders who are focused on commercial growth, risk management, and reputational capital,” said AnnaMaria DeSalva. “Our body of work increasingly demonstrates that strategic communication, elevated by creativity, is a primary force for sustainable value creation. By accelerating our transformation through this combination, we will enable the investments in talent and technology that advance communications leadership when it has never mattered more.”Burson’s leadership team will comprise a cohort of top-tier former chief communications officers and other experienced agency senior executives from both companies who bring deep expertise and knowledge of what business leaders need to succeed. Appointments will be announced throughout 2024 as the integration progresses.Hill & Knowlton brings significant business momentum, talent and innovation into the new Burson entity. The brand will operate within Burson serving a select group of clients globally through strategic communications, advisory and public affairs services.GCI Health and AxiCom will continue to operate as brands within Burson, offering specialised healthcare and technology communications expertise, respectively, at scale.Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said, “Hill & Knowlton and BCW are two high-performing businesses with complementary strengths, shared ambitions and many shared clients. I am delighted to see the Burson brand brought back to unite them. The new agency will be the standard bearer as the most modern, strategic, technology-driven, full-service communications offer in the industry.”The new agency will support a client roster that includes more than half of the Fortune 100 across corporate and public affairs, healthcare, technology and brand marketing.
https://adgully.me/post/4317/wpp-partners-with-sprinklr-for-ai-powered-customer-experience-solutions

WPP partners with Sprinklr for AI-powered customer experience solutions

Sprinklr (NYSE: CXM), the unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform for modern enterprises, today announced the launch of an expanded strategic partnership with WPP. Together, WPP and Sprinklr plan to create AI solutions to help global clients deliver more personalized and consistent experiences to customers using Sprinklr’s unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform.In today’s world, where creating a consistent and seamless customer experience across a variety of channels can be a challenge, it’s essential for global clients to have enterprise-grade AI solutions that make it possible for brands to reach, engage, and listen to customers at scale. As the market leader in the unified-CXM space working with over 1,400 brands, including many of WPP’s largest clients, the Sprinklr platform provides companies a comprehensive view of data to inform insights and analytics.Through this partnership, WPP will become Sprinklr’s first global agency partner, and the two companies will collaborate on a new offering, CX Live AI, that connects Sprinklr’s AI+ platform, which includes both Sprinklr customized AI models and generative AI capabilities, with WPP’s own AI resources. This first-of-its-kind, joint offering will help WPP teams create optimised content that reaches the right audiences. WPP and Sprinklr are collaborating on solutions with select clients, such as The Coca-Cola Company, where teams leverage AI insights around customer engagement to inform creative development and channel selection.The companies will work together on shared data, analytics, and solution development for joint clients, and WPP teams will also receive priority support from Sprinklr including bespoke enablement programs and early access to new Sprinklr products and platform features. In addition, WPP will participate in Sprinklr’s Partner Advisory board to help shape the roadmap for products.Stephan Pretorius, CTO of WPP, said: “Through the seamless integration of WPP's AI toolset with Sprinklr's AI+ platform, we are reshaping how brands can connect with their audiences. This partnership enhances our existing AI offerings and enables our clients to create customer experiences across all touch points on a scale like never before, further solidifying our position as a leader amidst the technology revolution that is transforming our industry.”Sprinklr CEO & Founder Ragy Thomas said: “Sprinklr and WPP serve many of the world's most iconic brands. Together, this partnership will enable customers to effectively deploy AI that will result in measurable productivity, cost savings, and the seamless experiences customers have come to expect today. Integrating Sprinklr’s AI-powered Unified-CXM platform with WPP’s AI toolset will help our shared customers quickly adopt the latest AI technologies while ensuring the enterprise-grade privacy, security, and governance that Sprinklr and WPP have built our businesses on."
https://adgully.me/post/3922/creative-agencies-wunderman-thompson-and-vmlyr-join-forces-to-become-vml

Creative Agencies, Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R, Join Forces to Become VML

WPP, one of the world's leading advertising and marketing services companies, has announced a significant development in its client offerings. This move involves the merger of Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R, creating a new entity known as VML. This strategic move establishes VML as the world's largest creative company, bringing together top creative agencies with world-class capabilities in commerce, customer experience, and marketing technology. VML is poised to support clients with creative brand growth strategies and transformation initiatives, bolstered by robust data operations, cutting-edge technology platforms, and partnerships with leading tech firms. Additionally, VML will offer specialized services for healthcare companies and B2B marketers.The merger is set to leverage the strengths of both agencies, making them highly complementary. It will result in a combined workforce of over 30,000 professionals across 64 global markets. The new management team will be led by Jon Cook, the new VML Global CEO, and Mel Edwards, VML Global President. Together, they aim to capitalize on the interconnectedness of brand experience, commerce, and customer experiences, with a focus on creativity and depth in customer experience and commerce.Mark Read, CEO of WPP, emphasized the importance of scale in the rapidly changing marketing landscape and stated that VML's integration of creativity and expertise in data and marketing technology will deliver a competitive edge for ambitious brands. The creation of VML aligns with WPP's ongoing efforts to reshape its offerings for the future, simplify its operations, and provide clients with fully integrated capabilities in every market.Both Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R, prior to their merger, have gained recognition for their creativity and expertise, and have been celebrated by various industry awards and rankings. Their extensive capabilities have also been acknowledged by technology partners and industry analysts.The merger is expected to result in an even stronger, fully integrated suite of services for clients across the globe, responding to the demand for seamless connections between brand advertising and technology solutions.Key leadership appointments within VML include Debbi Vandeven as Global Chief Creative Officer, Eric Campbell as Global Chief Client Officer, Juan Pablo Jurado as CEO of LATAM, Ewen Sturgeon as CEO of EMEA, and Audrey Kuah and Yi-Chung Tay as Co-CEOs of APAC. The merger aims to drive growth and innovation for clients across markets, marking a significant step in the evolving landscape of modern marketing.
https://adgully.me/post/518/groupm-introduces-global-framework-for-media-decarbonization

Groupm introduces global framework for media decarbonization

GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, today introduces the approach it will take to measure and reduce ad-based carbon emissions using a newly developed global carbon measurement framework. The framework is an innovative, new set of measurement methodologies designed to break down the media value chain and define the necessary data inputs to measure carbon emissions across all five stages of the advertising lifecycle for all formats, channels and markets in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s standards. The establishment of a globally scalable approach to carbon measurement is a major step GroupM is taking to deliver on its commitment to decarbonize its media supply chain by 2030, as announced by WPP in April 2021. It provides the parameters, data inputs and methodology necessary to power what we believe to be the industry’s most robust global carbon calculator, which will be available to GroupM clients later this year and will allow media planners to map the total carbon footprint of advertising campaigns from development to delivery.  “Our clients want to prioritize media investment with publishers and platforms that are actively decarbonizing their media supply,” said Christian Juhl, GroupM’s Global CEO. “While we applaud the many steps taken to quantify ad-based carbon emissions in recent years, having different standards across companies, platforms, and markets is delaying meaningful action. By sharing this global framework, we hope to begin aligning our industry behind a consistent set of standards that will create clear goals and incentives for rapidly decarbonizing the media supply chain.” Jérôme Amouyal, Media Performance Insights Director, AXA said: “We have seen that our industry has an increasing number of calculators, but not an aligned reduction plan. It is important that we as a collective get behind a robust, actionable solution that accelerates decarbonization. We believe that market approaches such as GroupM’s will lead the way in educating, informing and enabling vital change in the industry. We’re looking forward to working with them to have the right framework to inform our future buying decisions.” To develop its decarbonization framework, GroupM worked with independent specialists in carbon measurement and incorporated input from clients, industry partners, third parties, and experts across GroupM and WPP. In addition to providing standards and processes for measuring carbon emissions, the framework also outlines steps advertisers can take immediately to accelerate their decarbonization efforts. These include buying fewer but higher-quality ads, cutting the complexity of the supply chain by reducing intermediaries, and buying low-carbon media products. To encourage the establishment of industry-wide standards for carbon measurement across channels and formats, GroupM will make the methodologies and processes supporting its new framework available to industry bodies and organizations committed to decarbonizing the media supply chain setting a target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).  Sebastian Munden, Chair, Ad Net Zero, said: “Action 3 of the Ad Net Zero action plan is all about getting the whole industry to the point where we can accurately track, report and therefore reduce the carbon footprint of all media channels. This is no easy task, especially as we scale the efforts of Ad Net Zero globally. We would need an agreed standardized approach that works for all parts of the ecosystem: advertisers, agencies, media and tech. This move by GroupM is hugely welcome, and a very timely development to help deliver those aims. Through the new Ad Net Zero Global Group recently announced at Cannes Lions, we will explore how this approach can be scaled right across the industry.” The details of GroupM’s media decarbonization framework are summarized in Calculating a Cleaner Future Now: A Unified Methodology for Accelerated Media Decarbonization, a report published by GroupM today. To download the report and learn more about GroupM’s global framework for media decarbonization and WPP’s wider net zero commitments, visit GroupM.com and WPP.com. Parties interested in more information about the framework or who would like to obtain access to the complete report and methodology underpinning the framework should reach out to mediadecarb@groupm.com.