GroupM merges MediaCom and Essence; consolidates offerings with 5 agency brands

The media arm of WPP will bring together Finecast, Xaxis, and GroupM Services to form GroupM Nexus

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GroupM merges MediaCom and Essence; consolidates offerings with 5 agency brands

GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, has announced a slew of resturcturing of its agency brands, which leaves five agency brands under its umbrella.

- Essence and MediaCom will merge to form EssenceMediacom, a new agency offering fusing the digital and data-driven DNA of Essence with MediaCom’s scaled multichannel audience planning and strategic media expertise. Nick Lawson (Global CEO of MediaCom) will lead newly formed EssenceMediacom as Global CEO.

- Industry leading talent and solutions from Finecast, Xaxis, and GroupM Services – GroupM’s global community of activation experts – will be brought together to form GroupM Nexus, the world’s leading media performance organisation. Nicolas Bidon (Global CEO of Xaxis) will oversee GroupM Nexus as Global CEO.

- Mindshare will complete the integration with global performance agency Neo, providing clients with a broader range of transformative media services.

With this reorganisation, GroupM’s five agency brands will be – Mindshare, Wavemaker, EssenceMediacom, GroupM Nexus and Choreograph, WPP’s global data and technology company.

Christian Juhl, Global CEO, GroupM, said, “We are passionate about the opportunity technology gives us to help our clients navigate constant change and achieve their growth goals. The future of marketing is outcomes-driven, supported by audience-first planning and continually improving, AI-enabled performance standards. Through GroupM Nexus and our agency powerhouses Mindshare, Wavemaker, and EssenceMediacom we are building a tech-enabled future, side-by-side with our clients, that is accountable to advertisers’ growth goals and to our vision for an advertising ecosystem that works for everyone. I also want to congratulate Kyoko, who has grown and strengthened Essence in her time as Global CEO, on her exciting new role as WPP’s CEO in Japan. We will continue to work closely together to strengthen the position of our agencies across APAC.”

The combined EssenceMediacom will have a strength of 10,000 employees across 125 offices in 2023 .

Designed to power client growth globally with an agile response to a rapidly evolving media landscape, EssenceMediacom infuses the digital and data-driven DNA of Essence with MediaCom’s scaled multichannel, audience planning and strategic media expertise, GroupM said in a press statement.

Clients will be able to leverage an expanded global organisation founded by two agencies that are strategic complements, designed exclusively to fuel client growth. Essence and MediaCom are already using this operational model for three shared global clients: Google, Mars, and NBCUniversal.

The merger of Essence and MediaCom builds on a record of strong business growth for both agencies. COMvergence ranked MediaCom first in the industry for new business wins in 2021 with $2.87B in new billings attributed to wins, while Essence has continued to grow and expand its remit with Google and other key clients.

Lawson said, “The formation of EssenceMediacom builds on the strong and proven relationship between the agencies to create the agency model our clients want for the future — one founded on brilliant strategy and brand-building capabilities, with pioneering digital expertise running throughout. EssenceMediacom will not only help our clients see the bigger picture and reimagine what’s possible; it will also provide opportunities for our people to upskill and train in new areas, further enriching and enhancing their careers.”

GroupM Nexus will comprise 9,000 practitioners around the world, collectively responsible for the activation of more than 2 million campaigns managed by GroupM each year. This global community represents the industry’s leading team of experts in digital channels and platforms, search, social, programmatic, AI, cross-channel optimization, and data-driven technologies and software.

GroupM Nexus unites GroupM’s addressable content and TV, AI technology (Copilot), and omnichannel solutions from Finecast, Xaxis, and GroupM Services into a single unit. The global organisation will be underpinned by a new cross-channel performance platform and international delivery hubs to set new benchmarks for performance innovation and efficiency for GroupM’s agencies and clients.

Nicolas Bidon, CEO GroupM Nexus, said, “GroupM Nexus unites leading media talent, digital services excellence, cutting-edge AI technology and unique scaled partnerships into a new cross-channel performance organization with one purpose: power growth for our people, our agencies and the amazing brands they represent. We cannot wait to innovate together and unlock new opportunities for everyone.”

Mindshare and Neo will operate under the Mindshare brand but will retain and scale Neo’s operating model, focused on pureplay performance solutions at its heart, and will integrate this into Mindshare’s full funnel offering. Neo’s 1,200 digital-first, performance experts and consultants will be integrated with Mindshare’s 10,000 media specialists and Neo’s digital-first services will be fully embedded into Mindshare and GroupM’s offering.

COMvergence ranked Mindshare third in the global new business rankings for 2021 with $2bn in newly won and retained client revenue and Mindshare was recently named the #1 Media Agency Network in the WARC Media 100 rankings for the third consecutive year.

Adam Gerhart, Global CEO, Mindshare, said: “This is a journey we’ve been on for the past year with many clients who have been demanding more diverse media services to drive their growth. The merger delivers seamless access to Neo’s digital-first capabilities and a relentless focus on performance models to accelerate Good Growth. For our teams it means more opportunity and the ability to create greater impact across the world. I’m delighted to partner with Neo CEO Nasreen Madhany as we complete the integration of the two businesses and move into a new future together.”

GroupM WPP GroupM Nexus MediaCom Finecast Essence GroupM merges MediaCom and Essence Xaxis GroupM Services