WPP AUNZ has announced Assignment Group and Y&R NZ will join forces to form the local arm of VMLY&R.
The move will see VMLY&R’s footprint in New Zealand expand, with Assignment’s team in Wellington relocating to Y&R’s current premises, and both businesses rebranding as VMLY&R in line with the current global rollout.
As part of the merger, current Y&R Wellington managing director Fleur Head will be appointed managing director for VMLY&R Wellington while James Mok will continue to lead the VMLY&R Auckland office.
In response to StopPress' question if there will be any redundancies due to the merger, a WPP AUNZ spokesperson says "there are not expected to be any job losses as a result of this merger. It is important to remember this new agency has been created to make something bigger and better. It is not about reducing capability."
The new leadership team will have dual reporting lines to Sven Baker, New Zealand managing director WPP AUNZ, and VMLY&R’s AUNZ leadership team of Aden Hepburn and Pete Bosilkovski.
In September last year, WPP announced creation of VMLY&R uniting creative agency Y&R with its digital agency VML.
Baker said the decision to bring Assignment and Y&R together to create VMLY&R in New Zealand was made after a group-wide review of agencies.
He says it is intended to create a “future-focused agency, better equipped to service the changing needs of our clients in a world being transformed by technology”.
“Combining Assignment and Y&R with the vast scale and capability of VMLY&R globally will create an incredibly exciting opportunity to build an agency capable of delivering truly connected customer experiences."
Baker says while the move would see the long-standing Assignment and Y&R brands disappear from the New Zealand market, “their legacy of strategically focused creativity, media and exemplary client service would remain at the heart of the new VMLY&R, which now includes UX and brand experience as a core integrated service.”
Head says she’s excited to have more digital, strategic and creative minds to collaborate with in solving business problems for clients.
“I’ve always admired the Assignment ethos of judging their success on their clients’ success and bringing together a broad range of thinkers to solve problems. Together we’re determined to build fresh ways of working and co-creating to deliver value to clients in the capital.”