WPP to fold the Geometry network into the VMLY&R network to create a global commerce business, VMLY&R COMMERCE
WPP is to merge the Geometry global network into the VMLY&R network to created VMLY&R COMMERCE, a new end-to-end creative commerce company. The company will operate as a distinct brand within the VMLY&R global network.
The WPP decision to merge the two networks comes less than a week after WPP’s move to merge the Grey network into the AKQA network under the AKQA banner.
VMLY&R COMMERCE will be led by Global Chief Executive Officer Beth Ann Kaminkow (pictured above), currently Global CEO of Geometry.
Kaminkow said VMLY&R COMMERCE will be central to the VMLY&R network’s total brand and customer experience offering. It will help connected brands grow by unifying client strategies around commerce to drive both brand equity and conversion.
“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. With the launch of VMLY&R COMMERCE, we can now offer our clients creative commerce at scale, harnessing data and technology to build brands and sell products across channels,” said Kaminkow.
VMLY&R COMMERCE will leverage the combined assets of the Geometry and VMLY&R networks, which between them have more than 11,000 employees across 80 countries worldwide.
VMLY&R COMMERCE will harness Geometry’s proprietary Living CommerceTM platform to guide strategic commerce consultation, development and activation across retail, design, experiential and innovation disciplines. Living CommerceTM facilitates the understanding of how, when and why people buy to deliver creative commerce solutions based on real human insights, driving commercial impact.
“I’m thrilled to work with Beth Ann on the evolution of our collective commerce offering through VMLY&R COMMERCE,” said Jon Cook, VMLY&R Global CEO. “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.”
Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “2020 has seen explosive growth in ecommerce as brands adapt to a new reality. This new company will offer outstanding creativity, industry-leading commerce expertise, and sophisticated data and technology skills to help brands grow in an omni-channel world. It also meets clients’ needs for simple, tightly integrated propositions from their marketing services partners.”
Geometry currently has 17 offices in their APAC network with 4 in China, and 2 in Australia and India. Of particular interest in the merger will be the status of their Japanese agency Geometry Ogilvy Japan. The office has been a fruitful creative and business performer for the Ogilvy network, who will be keen to retain it within the Ogilvy brand. Speculation is that the office will continue to operate under the Geometry Ogilvy Japan banner, under a separate P&L, but will have access to VMLY&R Commerce’s capabilities.
VMLY&R COMMERCE will be fully operational from January 1, 2021, and the integration of the agencies’ teams and assets will continue through 2021.