Y&R announced today that it is creating the BAV Group to consolidate the BrandAsset Valuator (BAV) study along with its two business arms, BAVLabs and BAV Consulting. The consolidated group will be led by Michael Sussman as CEO. He has been serving as President, BAV Worldwide, which oversaw both the BAV study and BAVLabs, and he will continue to report to Y&R’s Global CEO, David Sable.
At the same time, WPP’s David Roth will become Chairman of BAV, in addition to his responsibilities as CEO of WPP’s global retail unit, The Store. Roth will be responsible for facilitating collaborations between Y&R’s BAV Group and WPP’s BrandZ, developing and marketing new products, services and data insights that leverage both studies. This will provide WPP companies with the ability to leverage these world-class brand evaluation tools and data on behalf of their clients.
The proprietary BAV study, since its launch in 1993, has amassed an enormous amount of data on consumer perceptions of brands, all of which supports BAV’s unique ability to be both a diagnostic and prescriptive model. The BAVLabs, regional hubs around the world, service Y&R’s local agencies and their clients, while BAV Consulting is a stand-alone strategic branding consultancy that provides BAV services as well as customized intellectual property for its clients. John Gerzema, who has been CEO of BAV Consulting for seven years, is leaving for another opportunity.
The newly configured BAV Group will continue its substantial strategic work for clients. In addition, the combined talent and resources will enhance the group’s ability to create new products and model extensions that capture today’s marketplace dynamics, including social equity, as well as new areas of focus, such as BAV Politics. The BAV Group will continue its partnership with US News and World Report and The Wharton School on Best Countries, an annual ranking and data analysis of 80 countries around the world.
“BAV is core to Y&R’s strategic approach, and remains an unparalleled resource in the industry. In consolidating its resources and people, we will unleash its full power for all our clients. It gives me particular pleasure to put Michael Sussman at its helm. Michael is not only a brilliant researcher and strategist (with a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology), he has been an integral part of BAV’s development and growth for close to 20 years, and an invaluable strategic counsel to clients around the world. We are also excited about the opportunity to work with David Roth on BAV initiatives across the WPP Group. Last but not least, we are grateful to John for his many contributions, including Best Countries, and look forward to seeing his next chapter,” said David Sable.
Y&R is one of the leading and most iconic global marketing communications companies. We operate as a Global Boutique, connecting deep insights from local business needs and consumers with strategies and objectives that travel across borders. United by a global infrastructure and common tools and technology, all our clients have access to people and resources from everywhere in our network. Y&R has 189 offices in 93 countries around the world, with clients that include Bel Brands, Campbell’s Soup Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dell, Telefonica and Xerox, among many others. Y&R is part of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).