Veteran Ad Executive to Return to Run WPP's Wunderman Thompson North America Unit

Date : 12/05/2018 @ 9:24PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : WPP PLC (WPP)
Quote : 54.9  0.33 (0.60%) @ 7:36PM
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Veteran Ad Executive to Return to Run WPP's Wunderman Thompson North America Unit

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By Alexandra Bruell 

Shane Atchison is returning to advertising agency giant WPP PLC as the North America chief executive of Wunderman Thompson, the latest development in an ongoing reorganization at the parent company.

Seth Solomons, the current North America CEO at Wunderman, will move into another role at WPP, Mr. Read said in a statement, though it didn't specify the post he will hold.

"Shane is an innovative leader with a proven track record of helping clients," said Wunderman Thompson Global CEO Mel Edwards in a statement. "Shane brings the expertise needed by our clients, talent and partners."

Mr. Atchison in the summer of 2017 left WPP digital agency Possible, where he had been CEO, to join American Fork, Utah-based data company Domo Inc. as its chief marketing officer.

He is coming back to WPP in January as it undergoes organizational and leadership changes under new CEO Mark Read, who is rethinking the holding company model to better serve marketers that want simpler, more integrated marketing support.

WPP, the world's largest agency holding company, announced in September a plan to merge legacy creative agency Young & Rubicam with digital agency VML LLC. Wunderman Thompson is being similarly formed by combing iconic creative agency J. Walter Thompson with data marketing firm Wunderman.

Marketers' demands for faster, more cost-efficient and increasingly digital marketing support have left creative agencies struggling to keep up. Mr. Read in October blamed WPP's creative agencies and its businesses in North America for dragging down the group's third-quarter performance.

Mr. Atchison and Mr. Read worked closely when Mr. Atchison led Possible and Mr. Read was CEO of Wunderman, Possible's parent within WPP.

Mr. Atchison, who will report to Mr. Edwards, is credited with growing Seattle-based Possible, a shop that initially comprised a number of smaller global agencies WPP had acquired over the years. His experience bringing together varied cultures and offices will come into play as Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson, two established and very different agencies, execute their merger. The Wunderman-J. Walter Thompson merger is expected to be completed early next year.

"I've seen firsthand the importance and value that storytelling and data bring to global brands," Mr. Atchison said in the statement, "and Wunderman Thompson is the agency that can not only inspire growth for those brands but also make a distinct impact on the industry."

Write to Alexandra Bruell at alexandra.bruell@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 05, 2018 16:09 ET (21:09 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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