e.wire No. 207 - July 2016
WPP news bulletin

e.wire is WPP’s monthly public round-up of news and initiatives across the Group’s worldwide network. The following are edited highlights; view the full version here.

Stop Press

WPP hits six in Cannes

The Group’s winning run at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity continued in 2016 as WPP was named the world’s most creative holding company for the sixth consecutive year. Another strong performance from its agencies at the industry’s premier festival and awards show saw WPP top the parent company rankings once again. Ogilvy & Mather won network of the year for the fifth time in a row, while Y&R took third place. The win in Cannes means that WPP holds the title of parent company of the year 2016 at four of the industry’s leading awards programmes: Cannes Lions, the Effies, the Warc 100 and The One Show. Sir Martin Sorrell said: “Although this award is handed to WPP, it is really testament to the ability, effort and success of the people within our agencies all around the world, and the good judgement of the clients who commission the work.”

Ad industry unites to back Sustainable Development Goals

The world’s six biggest advertising and marketing services groups put aside competitive differences at the Cannes Lions Festival to launch a major new initiative – “Common Ground” – in support of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the United Nations last year. At the suggestion of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, for the first time rival parent company chief executives took the stage together to demonstrate their shared commitment to deploying the power of the creative industries to help address the world’s most pressing problems. The Secretary-General, who joined the CEOs on stage in Cannes, urged competing firms from other sectors to follow suit: “This initiative is not only about the advertising industry’s considerable influence in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals around the world. By putting aside their differences, these companies are also setting a powerful example for others to follow.”

2016 Atticus winners announced

Laura Citron, managing director of WPP’s Government and Public Sector Practice, has received the top prize in WPP’s annual Atticus Awards for original thinking in communications services. Her white paper, me.gov: The Next Generation of Digital Government, looks at how online government services are set to evolve to provide citizens with personalised digital experiences. The paper was also the winner of the Digital category. Lightspeed GMI London enjoyed a double triumph: John Puleston for a collection of blog posts entitled Question Science: Exploring the Art & Science of Designing Surveys; and Alexander Wheatley for his paper Survey Confessions: The Impact of Survey Design on Honesty. OgilvyRED and MEC also performed strongly, while MediaCom Copenhagen won the Corporate award for its magazine Blink, and the Under-30 Essay prize was awarded to Shradha Bhatia of Landor, Mumbai.

WPP and Tencent in strategic partnership

Tencent, a leading provider of internet value-added services in China, and WPP have signed a memorandum of understanding and entered into a strategic alliance to create a social innovation and ideation lab. The “China Social Marketing Lab” will leverage Tencent’s strengths in the local online space and WPP’s global marketing expertise. Through knowledge sharing, the collaboration will harness technology, analytics and creative input to build social ideas and campaigns for Tencent’s QQ and Weixin/WeChat platforms.

New Offers

Investment in All Def Digital

WPP has agreed to make a strategic investment in All Def Digital, a digital media company founded by hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, in the US. ADD’s clients include NBC Universal and Samsung. The company was founded by Simmons in 2013, employs approximately 35 people and is based in Los Angeles. The investment is being made through WPP Ventures, which is investing along with Third Wave Digital Partners and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as existing ADD investors Greycroft Partners, Advancit Capital, Nu Horizons Investments and e.ventures. ADD is a leader in producing and distributing music and content tailored for the important-to-reach urban-centric youth culture.

Conexance joins WPP

WPP has acquired Conexance, the leading database marketing company in France. Conexance’s data co-operative offers more than 25 million individual household buyers and 32 million digital profiles qualified by one billion business transactions from more than 500 data-contributing retailers and merchants. The company, which is based in Lille and Paris and employs about 40 people, will work closely with WPP’s Data Alliance companies Wunderman, Kantar and GroupM.

Kantar signs affiliation agreement with agency in Iran

Market research institute Rahbar Bazaar and Kantar have signed an affiliation agreement, giving the WPP global insights network a foothold in the Iranian market. Rahbar Bazaar’s clients include MCI, Henkel, Unilever, Hayat and BAT Pars. Stephen Hillebrand, CEO MENAP for Kantar Insights, said: “There’s been a very high level of interest in Iran among our clients since the easing of the sanctions. With a population of over 80 million people, Iran presents a significant growth opportunity for many of our global clients.”

WPP makes strategic investment in Woven Digital

WPP has agreed to make a strategic investment in Woven Digital, a digital media company that targets the millennial male market in the US. Woven’s clients include AB Inbev, AT&T, NBC Universal and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The company, which was founded in 2010, employs 130 people and is based in Culver City, CA, with offices in New York and Chicago.

New Business

as its lead creative agency for Brisk.

JLL appoints Maxus UK as its new digital media agency.


as J. Walter Thompson APAC CEO.

of Wunderman Asia-Pacific.

Alan Bloodworth is named EMEA CEO of Gain Theory.


for the fifth year running, winning a total of 120 Lions across 31 offices.

Y&R celebrates 30 years in China with Effie success.

Ogilvy PR wins big at the 2016 PR Week Asia Awards.

New Business Enquiries

Are you looking for an advertising or marketing services partner? WPP can help point you in the right direction — find out how.


Brexit’s impact on the British FMCG market

Kantar Retail’s analyst team gives its initial views on both short-term and long-term exposure to the effects of Brexit on a retailer-by-retailer basis. They argue that the shock of Brexit will impact movement of services most profoundly in the short term, followed by movement of goods in the medium term, and finally movement of people in the longer term.

Frontier(less) Retail

J. Walter Thompson Intelligence’s Innovation Group has released Frontier(less) Retail, a new report on the state of the retail industry that marks the group’s partnership debut with Women’s Wear Daily, the leading authority on fashion, beauty and retail. The report dissects changes in the retail landscape and offers predictions on how these shifts will evolve in the years to come.

The Millennial Paradox

The Millennial Paradox: A Generation Uncovered, by Kirsten Foster, Executive Director of Strategy EMEA at Landor, explains the eight millennial paradoxes every brand manager should be aware of, and four directives to help brands succeed with this audience. The study was conducted by Landor who established an online research community and for three weeks interacted daily with 142 millennial participants between the ages of 18 and 34.

WPP Reading Room

WPP Reading Room

Find the latest and best published thinking from Group professionals in WPP’s popular Reading Room: groundbreaking articles, research, books, videos, blogs and more.

Some recent features:
  • Spotlight on Webrooming by MEC looks at the facts behind “webrooming” (browsing online and buying in-store) and how it can be leveraged to further connect with consumers in the digital-physical manner they demand.

  • What brands should know about Pokémon GO is a recent article by Mindshare’s Rachel Lowenstein, who delves into the background and implications of this latest phenomenon.

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