WPP has decided to merge its digital agency AKQA and its creative agency network Grey to form the AKQA Group.
The AKQA Group will combine Grey’s creative storytelling with AKQA’s experience design skills and house 6,000 employees in more than 50 countries, boasting major clients including Amazon, Netflix, Coca-Cola, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Levi’s, and Volvo.
“Our goal is to expand horizons, combining the curiosity, ambition, imagination and pioneering spirit of a startup with the reach of a global enterprise,” said Ajaz Ahmed, AKQA Founder. “This is an unparalleled opportunity for AKQA and Grey to bring our shared assets to life into a modern, creatively-led company, building upon our inspiring and useful work to create value for our clients, people and communities.”
Ahmed will join forces with Grey Worldwide Chief Executive Officer Michael Houston to lead the group, with Ahmed becoming CEO and Houston being Global President and Chief Operating Officer. The rest of the management team will be announced in the ‘coming weeks’ and will be made up of leaders from both agencies.
“This exciting new partnership begins with what consumers expect, clients value, and brands need,” said Houston. “Forming a new company that can deliver culture-driving ideas through technology at speed and scale is a potent proposition for our clients, large and small, and will allow us to offer the most powerful creative solutions in the industry.”
The AKQA Group will initially house both the AKQA and Grey brands, with the agencies being integrated ‘over time’ into a single company.
The merging of AKQA and Grey comes a week after WPP consolidated The Glitch, its Indian creative agency, with its global experience agency VMLY&R.