Grey fades into AKQA

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 12 November 2020

WPP is further consolidating its agencies by folding big advertising agency Grey into digital marketing group AKQA.

The two become AKQA Group with 6,000 people in more than 50 countries and a blue-chip client roster that includes more than half of the Fortune 500’s top 20.

AKQA founder Ajaz Ahmed and Grey Worldwide CEO Michael Houston will partner to lead the new group.

Ahmed will become CEO and Houston global president and COO,

The AKQA Group will launch with the AKQA and Grey brands, which will be integrated over time into a single company based on client and market needs.

The management team and creative leadership will be announced in the coming weeks, comprising leaders from AKQA and Grey.

WPP AUNZ has been contacted re the impact in Australia.

In Australia, The White Agency and Grey merged in 2017 to become WhiteGREY. 

Ajaz Ahmed said: “Our goal is to expand horizons, combining the curiosity, ambition, imagination and pioneering spirit of a startup with the reach of a global enterprise. 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.”

Michael Houston said: “This exciting new partnership begins with what consumers expect, clients value, and brands need. 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.”

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “Our clients want outstanding creativity, powered by technology expertise and delivered at a global scale. This new company is designed precisely to meet those needs and is another important step forward in building our future-facing offer for clients.”

Other WPP agencies have been merged to create Wunderman Thompson, VMLY&R and BCW. 

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