WPP combines Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R to form VML

The merger will form the 'world’s largest creative company'

WPP has announced the merger of Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R, to create VML, becoming the industry’s largest creative company, with more than 30,000 people in 64 markets.

VML will unite two of the most awarded creative agencies in the world and will support clients on creative brand growth strategy and transformation initiatives.

The two agencies will officially merge under the leadership of Jon Cook as VML Global CEO and Mel Edwards as VML Global President, from 1 January 2024.

The future of building strong brands and businesses requires the interconnectivity of brand experience, commerce and customer experiences. We recognised the immediate opportunity to create what every consultancy and advertising agency aspires to build with the formation of VML. We’re especially excited to present our new offering to the industry as we don’t believe there is another company as creatively awarded with our depth in customer experience and commerce.

Jon Cook, Global CEO, VML

Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R were launched in 2018 and have experienced growth since their inception — through client development, new business and acquisitions.

This is the right suite of capabilities, offered at just the right moment, at unprecedented scale,’ said Edwards.

As AI and technology continue to change the industry landscape, Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said that marketing and global clients look to ‘simplify their relationships.’

‘VML will combine world-class creativity with deep expertise in data, marketing technology and platforms to deliver competitive advantage for ambitious brands,’ he added

Immediate leadership appointments include Debbi Vandeven, Global Chief Creative Officer; Eric Campbell, Global Chief Client Officer; Juan Pablo Jurado, CEO LATAM; Ewen Sturgeon, CEO EMEA; and Audrey Kuah and Yi-Chung Tay, Co-CEOs APAC.

Featured image: Jon Cook and Mel Edwards / VML