New York, USA – To accelerate innovation for clients and further simplify GroupM’s operations, the media investment group by WPP has unveiled the merger of Essence with MediaCom and the integration of Mindshare with Neo, as well as its new 9,000-strong cross-channel performance platform built on AI technology.
EssenceMediacom is designed to power client growth globally with an agile response to a rapidly evolving media landscape. It infuses the digital and data-driven DNA of Essence with MediaCom’s scaled multichannel, audience planning, and strategic media expertise. Through this, clients will be able to leverage an expanded global organisation founded by two agencies that are strategic complements, designed exclusively to fuel client growth. Essence and MediaCom are already using this operational model for three shared global clients, namely Google, Mars, and NBCUniversal.
Meanwhile, Mindshare and Neo will be operating under the Mindshare brand but will retain and scale Neo’s operating model, focused on pureplay performance solutions, and will integrate this into Mindshare’s full-funnel offering. Neo’s 1,200 digital-first, performance experts and consultants will also be integrated with Mindshare’s 10,000 media specialists and Neo’s digital-first services will be fully embedded into Mindshare and GroupM’s offering.
GroupM Nexus will be composed of 9,000 practitioners globally, collectively responsible for the activation of more than two million campaigns managed by GroupM each year. This global community represents the industry’s leading team of experts in digital channels and platforms, search, social, programmatic, and AI, as well as cross-channel optimisation, and data-driven technologies and software. In addition, GroupM Nexus unites GroupM’s addressable content and TV, AI technology, and omnichannel solutions from Finecast, Xaxis, and GroupM Services into a single unit. The global organisation will be underpinned by a new cross-channel performance platform and international delivery hubs to set new benchmarks for performance innovation and efficiency for GroupM’s agencies and clients.
Christian Juhl, GroupM’s global CEO, said, “Through GroupM Nexus and our agency powerhouses Mindshare, Wavemaker, and EssenceMediacom, we are building a tech-enabled future, side-by-side with our clients, that is accountable to advertisers’ growth goals and to our vision for an advertising ecosystem that works for everyone.”
With these moves, Nick Lawson, MediaCom’s global CEO, will be leading the newly formed EssenceMediacom as global CEO, and Kyoko Matsushita, Essence’s global CEO, will be promoted to the new role of WPP’s CEO for Japan, as the company continues to invest in expanding, high-growth markets, as well as Nicolas Bidon, Xaxis’ global CEO, will be overseeing GroupM Nexus as global CEO.
Lawson noted that the formation of EssenceMediacom builds on the strong and proven relationship between the agencies to create the agency model their clients want for the future — one founded on brilliant strategy and brand-building capabilities, with pioneering digital expertise running throughout.
“EssenceMediacom will not only help our clients see the bigger picture and reimagine what’s possible; it will also provide opportunities for our people to upskill and train in new areas, further enriching and enhancing their careers,” said Lawson.
Meanwhile, Matsushita said, “Bringing together Essence and MediaCom – each with their own celebrated histories of excellence – will create a truly unique combination of agile innovation and global scale in a single agency.”
Bidon also commented, “GroupM Nexus unites leading media talent, digital services excellence, cutting-edge AI technology and unique scaled partnerships into a new cross-channel performance organisation with one purpose: power growth for our people, our agencies and the amazing brands they represent. We cannot wait to innovate together and unlock new opportunities for everyone.”
Adam Gerhart, Mindshare’s global CEO, said that the merger delivers seamless access to Neo’s digital-first capabilities and a relentless focus on performance models to accelerate good growth.
“For our teams it means more opportunity and the ability to create greater impact across the world. I’m delighted to partner with Neo CEO Nasreen Madhany as we complete the integration of the two businesses and move into a new future together,” he added.