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NEWS8 January 2018

Kantar merges four brands into Kantar Consulting

M&A News Retail Trends UK

UK – Kantar has merged Kantar Added Value, Kantar Futures, Kantar Vermeer and Kantar Retail to form Kantar Consulting, a sales and marketing consultancy.

The four companies will bring expertise in their respective specialisms: Kantar Added Value in cultural understanding and brand purpose; Kantar Futures in consumer foresight and trends; Kantar Retail in retail and e-commerce, and Kantar Vermeer in marketing ROI. 

All four have transitioned to the Kantar Consulting brand as of today, with the exception of some client relationships which will continue until the end of a transition period determined by the client.

A statement issued by Kantar described the new consultancy as a combination of retail, sales, e-commerce and marketing expertise. It will be formed of 1,000 staff, with a client base including Unilever, Pepsi, Tata, Bayer and Amazon.

Phil Smiley, chief executive of Kantar Retail, has been appointed chief executive of the new consultancy, which is split into a brand and marketing practice and a retail and shopper practice.

The brand and marketing practice will be headed up in Europe by Bart Michels, chief executive of Kantar Added Value. Beth Ann Kaminkow, global chief executive of Kantar Vermeer, will lead the practice for the Americas, while Tab Jethro Lai, who joined Kantar Vermeer as a partner last year, has been named managing partner of the division in China.

Jeremy Cohen, European chief executive of Kantar Retail, will lead the retail and shopper practice for Europe, while Kantar Retail Market Insights chief executive John Barry heads up the division for the Americas. Bernhard Wessels, Kantar Retail North Asia chief executive, becomes managing partner of the practice for China.

Mark Inskip, global chief executive of Kantar Futures, is now chief strategy and transformation officer for the company.

Eric Salama, chief executive of Kantar (pictured), said: “We are creating Kantar Consulting to fulfil our ambition of bringing a deeper, more rounded consulting offer to our clients. Alone and in combination with other capabilities, Kantar Consulting will be a core part of Kantar and WPP’s success in the future.”

The move comes at a time when management consultancies such as Accenture and Deloitte are encroaching on the marketing sector. Smiley said: “We are creating Kantar Consulting to make it easier for clients to get the best out of our four founding brands. Management consultancies are certainly a factor but not the main reason.”