NEWS31 January 2023

GroupM merges Essence and MediaCom

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GLOBAL – WPP-owned media GroupM has combined digital and data business Essence with media agency MediaCom to launch EssenceMediacom.

Nick Lawson

The agency will bring together Essence’s data, analytics and creative technology and MediaCom’s audience planning and strategy.

Led by global chief executive Nick Lawson (pictured), previously chief executive of MediaCom, EssenceMediacom has 10,000 employees across 120 offices globally. 

Tim Irwin, previously global chief operating officer at Essence, will become Emea chief executive at EssenceMediacom. Jill Kelly has become US chief executive, Rupert McPetrie is chief executive for Apac, and Marina Gunther is chief executive for Latin America.

Prior to the official launch, the two businesses were working on a joint operating model for shared clients Google, Mars and NBC Universal.

The new combined business will use a set of tools and data called EssenceMediacom’s operating system, which is accessible to teams and clients globally.

GroupM first announced its plans to merge the agencies in April 2022. The move follows its launch of first-party data consultancy Choreograph in 2021, which combined the data divisions of GroupM and Wunderman Thompson.

Last year, WPP also merged its Finecast, Xaxis and GroupM Services businesses to form media performance practice GroupM Nexus.

Nick Lawson, global chief executive at EssenceMediacom, said: “This process has been nine months in the making and I am so excited to see our ambition of bringing Essence and MediaCom together finally become a reality.

“What will underpin our groundbreaking agency is our people, and we will be steadfast in our commitment to provide an environment of continuous learning so they can grow and be the best they can be. Together, and with analytics, data and technology at our heart, I have no doubt we will deliver breakthroughs across our entire client base.”