Close on the heels of announcing the merger of Grey Group with AKQA to create AKQA Group earlier this month, WPP today announced the launch of VMLY&R Commerce, a new end-to-end “Creative Commerce Company” combining the talent and scale of two thriving global offerings. VMLY&R Commerce will operate as a distinct company within the VMLY&R global network.
WPP agencies Geometry and VMLY&R will bring together their respective commerce capabilities to provide world-leading expertise and delivery for clients at a time of unprecedented global growth in ecommerce. VMLY&R Commerce will be led by Global Chief Executive Officer Beth Ann Kaminkow, currently Global CEO of Geometry.
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.
Kaminkow said, “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.”
Geometry has proven a key partner in helping clients navigate the new commerce landscape. VMLY&R has also seen substantial momentum across its customer experience practice, expanding its ecommerce business with client partners. VMLY&R Commerce will align these global powerhouses to create a best-in-class, end-to-end offer for clients. It 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.”
VMLY&R Commerce will be fully operational from January 1, 2021, and the integration of the agencies’ teams and assets will continue through 2021.