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WPP merges MEC and Maxus, “efficiencies” probable



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GroupM is merging the global operations of media agencies MEC and Maxus into “a new billion dollar revenue, media, content and technology agency” under the leadership of MEC’s CEO Tim Castree.

GroupM will now have three global media agency networks – Mindshare, MediaCom, and the new company – each with more than one billion dollars in annual revenues, said GroupM in a press statement.  Currently leading the APAC and Singapore operations for MEC is Allison Colley. Meanwhile Maxus is lead by APAC CEO Ajit Varghene and the Singapore operation is led by MD Desh Balakrishnan.

When asked if redundancies will be made to the APAC operations, a spokesperson from the company said: “We do anticipate some efficiencies and the efficiencies we realise will allow us to focus resources and reinvestment in three billion dollar (revenues) media agencies.”

A spokesperson from WPP told Marketing that it is currently at the beginning of a six month transition period where Maxus and MEC “will be combined into a powerful new media, content and technology agency proposition”.

“We will be carefully working through the integration over these next many months, and so it is too soon to get into granular details about specific APAC impacts,” he said.

He added that the name of the new company will be announced in due course and the transition will conclude by the end of the year.

“There are quite few client conflicts between Maxus and MEC. Where they are, we are already in conversations with our clients to make the right fit for them. In time, we also anticipate that Essence will be leading new GroupM client relationships,” he added.

“Essence, is a digital-first agency. It is now adding traditional media capabilities and a larger geographic footprint to the agency’s existing media and creative credentials. GroupM acquired Essence in November 2015.  In time, Essence will also lead several key GroupM client relationships as part of this restructure.

GroupM also plans new investments across all of its agencies and its [m]PLATFORM data and technology capabilities, it said in a statement.

“We’re committed to improving our service to clients. These moves will give us greater focus, help us innovate, and improve our speed of delivery,” said Kelly Clark, global CEO, GroupM.

Since Clark became global CEO in October 2016, GroupM has made a number of organisational changes. Clark recently appointed Lindsay Pattison as GroupM’s chief transformation officer to lead a range of transformation initiatives.

“The leadership team at Essence is excited about the opportunities this creates for our clients and our people,” said Christian Juhl, CEO, Essence.

“Our mission is to make advertising more valuable to the world; with this infusion of talent, capabilities and markets, we can do this now on a bigger stage.”

Clark named Castree CEO of MEC in November 2016.

“Maxus and MEC share common values and ambitions. Both networks have a strong local market presence and entrepreneurial drive. Together, we believe we can create an exciting new media, content and technology agency which we look forward to introducing soon,” Castree said.

“We’ve clearly signaled our ambition to transform, and we mean business,” Pattison said. “This allows us to more meaningfully invest in each agency’s future – retaining and attracting the best talent with inspiring and rewarding workplaces, creating differentiated cultures and approaches, and sharing in a focus on helping clients win.”

The story was first published in Marketing Interactive.

Photo / 123RF



Gathering 50 top regional chief HR and senior business leaders at a three-day business retreat forum, the exclusive HR Innovation Leaders' Summit will happen from September 9-11. Get involved.

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