In a move that sees the creation of a new breed of agency in New Zealand, WPP AUNZ has today announced that Assignment Group and Y&R NZ will join forces to form the local arm of global brand experience powerhouse 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 MD Fleur Head will be appointed MD for VMLY&R Wellington, while James Mok will continue to lead the VMLY&R Auckland office. The new leadership team will have dual reporting lines to Sven Baker (pictured above), New Zealand managing director WPP AUNZ, and VMLY&R’s AUNZ leadership team of Aden Hepburn and Pete Bosilkovski.
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 said 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”.
Says Baker: “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 said while the move would see the long-standing Assignment and Y&R brands disappear from the NZ 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. He said bringing the agencies together was part of a broader global WPP strategy to simplify and streamline the portfolio into new future proofed market offerings, with a specific focus on integrating the transformative power of creativity and technology.
Says Head: “I’m excited to have more digital, strategic and creative minds to collaborate with in solving business problems for our 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.”
In September last year, WPP announced creation of VMLY&R, uniting two leading brands to deliver a contemporary, fully integrated digital and creative offering to clients on a global scale. VMLY&R is an agency of more than 7,000 people across the globe, and one of WPP’s principal brands.
VMLY&R is part of WPP AUNZ, Australasia’s leading creative transformation company.