e.wire No. 215 - March 2017
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.

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Switzerland tops best countries rankings

According to the 2017 Best Countries report, a joint rankings and analysis project from U.S. News & World Report, Y&R’s BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Switzerland has debuted as the best country in the world. Now in their second year, the rankings evaluate 80 countries – up from 60 last year – across a range of criteria, from power and economic influence to citizenship and quality of life, to capture how nations are perceived on a global scale. John Gerzema, Chairman and CEO of Y&R’s BAV Consulting, said: “Our data captured widespread global concern for the social and geopolitical changes that cast many nations into uncertainty and turmoil. The new rankings reflect people’s desire to restore some sense of order by rewarding nations they perceive as championing neutrality, stability and diplomacy.”

Skol retains number one spot as Latin America's most valuable brand

For the second year in a row, Brazilian beer Skol is the most valuable brand in Latin America according to the fifth annual BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands survey from WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. Second and third place went to Corona and communication providers Telcel respectively. The report also shows that, in a challenging economic and political environment, the retail sector was the only category that did not decline in value, growing its contribution to the total value of the region’s brands from 16% in the previous report to 20% in 2017. Latin America saw major political changes and high inflation that hit consumers’ budgets and confidence in 2016, resulting in a 22% decrease in the total value of the region’s strongest brands. However, the value of the Top 10 declined by just 14%, indicating that investment in marketing and building a strong brand can provide protection in tough times.

#RewritingTheCode of gender inequality

Global children’s charity Theirworld has launched an ambitious campaign, created by The Partners in collaboration with other WPP agencies, to expose the hidden values and behavioural codes of gender inequality. Theirworld has teamed up with WPP agencies The Partners, Kantar Added Value, Kantar Futures, MEC and VML to create a campaign that encourages leaders from all sectors to change negative attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate gender stereotypes. This is part of WPP’s commitment to Common Ground, the unprecedented industry-wide pledge to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. WPP is supporting Goal #5: achieving gender equality.

WPP 2016 Preliminary Results

2016 was another record year for WPP, with reported billings up 16.0% at £55.245 billion, reported revenue up 17.6% at £14.389 billion, and headline profit before interest and tax up 21.8% at £2.160 billion, over £2 billion for the first time.

New Offers

Hello Australia, New Zealand, Singapore

AKQA is arriving in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore through a partnership with creative technology company DT whose clients include Bunnings, Optus, Bupa and Tourism Australia. DT’s brand will remain but transition to the AKQA brand in the future. The partnership is the latest move in AKQA’s strategy to meet client demand across service lines and regions. Combining DT’s additional 220 employees from Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore, AKQA will now have 2,000 employees in 21 studios across the USA, Europe, Asia and Australasia.

Two of Denmark’s best-known strategic communications agencies – Burson-Marsteller and Hill+Knowlton Strategies – have combined to launch a new communications agency that leverages the strengths of the two brands while remaining part of each respective global network. Burson-Marsteller Denmark’s current CEO, Nikolaj Buchardt, will head the new agency, while Mikkel Andersen, currently Director of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, will become Chief Operating Officer. The working name of the new agency is HKBM. The firm will represent both Burson-Marsteller and Hill+Knowlton Strategies in the Danish market and continue to be part of the Nordic and international WPP network.

Specialist ecommerce consultancy expands to MENA region

MEC has announced the launch of MEC Commerce, the agency’s specialist ecommerce consultancy, in the MENA region. It will combine the services of a media agency with best-in-class consultancy, securing brilliant delivery of ecommerce strategies. MEC Commerce MENA will be led by Head of Ecommerce Julio Cesar Rodriguez, whose experience includes ecommerce projects for clients within online travel, hospitality and retail. The new division is part of the EMEA hub in London.

WPP AUNZ has announced that Landor Australia and Designworks Australia have merged to form Australia’s leading brand and customer experience design agency. The new entity brings together two successful businesses with highly complementary offers: Designworks’ regional strength in corporate branding and customer experience design, and Landor’s global capabilities and proprietary methodologies in branding, design and innovation.

New Business

to handle its consolidated direct marketing and CRM account for its BT and EE brands.

SunStream™ selects J. Walter Thompson Cape Town to lead all marketing communication on the African continent.


to the position of Chief Research Officer.


MEC Sweden named Media Agency of the Year in Sweden’s annual client satisfaction survey from Regi Research & Strategy.

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.


World leaders on Facebook

The World Leaders on Facebook 2017 study by Burson-Marsteller found that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most followed world leader on Facebook with 40 million followers on his personal page, while US President Donald J. Trump is in second place with 20 million followers. World Leaders on Facebook 2017 is the latest research on how world leaders, governments and international organizations communicate through social media.

Decoding Britishness

Strategy, design and innovation agency The Partners has released To Be or Not to Be: Decoding Britishness, a new report on the state of Britishness in branding. The research, conducted with Kantar’s Lightspeed, explores the crisis in modern British identity post-Brexit and examines consumers' and marketers' attitudes to the value of national provenance today.

JWT MENA Future 100 Trends

JWT’s Innovation Group MEA released its Future 100 Trends and Change to Watch in 2017 report, highlighting the top 100 consumer trends that are driving change across the Middle East and North Africa. The report, authored by Mennah Ibrahim, MEA Director of the Innovation Group, dices the trends into 10 major consumer categories such as Travel & Hospitality, Retail, Health, and Food and Drink.

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:
  • Ad enhancement, not interruption by Kantar TNS and Kantar Millward Brown explores what makes great online advertising and content.

  • is a recent post by Landor’s Chief Strategy Officer Thomas Ordahl looking at the challenges facing brand leaders.

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