Advertising giant WPP continued consolidating its business today as it said it would merge two of its leading agencies.
It confirmed it would combine VML and Y&R into a new agency called VMLY&R. It will be headed up by global chief exec Jon Cook, who will report to newly appointed WPP boss Mark Read.
In his first appearance as WPP chief exec earlier this month, Read called for WPP to have "stronger creative agencies with stronger reputations" in its post-Martin Sorrell era.
"VMLY&R will be a powerful brand experience offering and a core agency brand for WPP," Read said. "VML and Y&R have distinct and complementary strengths spanning creative, technology and data services that make them a perfect match.
"This is an important step as we build a new, simpler WPP that provides clients with a fully integrated offering and easy access to our wealth of talent and resources."
Cook added: "The landscape of our industry is changing rapidly, and we are committed to being an invaluable partner to CMOs around the world. I look forward to leading this unprecedented unification of two exceptional agencies."
VMLY&R will employ around 7,000 staff, and was described as one of WPP's principal brands. It will be fully operational in early 2019.