VML jobs go in restructure

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 28 March 2024
Credit: Diana Polekhina via Unsplash

VML, the creative arm of WPP, the world's biggest advertising group, has started cutting jobs in Australia as part of the VMLY&R and Wunderman Thompson merger, AdNews can reveal. 

AdNews has received multiple reports from independent's getting applications from those made exiting VML.   

Industry insiders say the restructure aims to create a single national leadership structure across the agency's Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney offices. 

And this means cuts to leadership. 

VMLY&R executive creative director Benjamin Davis based in Brisbane is among those exiting. 

Insiders also say redundancies started in February as the agency chopped duplicate roles from the merger. 

Tom Tearle, VMLY&R ANZ's CEO, was appointed chief executive of VML ANZ in December. Gavin Bain, Wunderman Thompson CEO for Australia, became VML chief consulting officer ANZ and managing director, Perth.

At last report WPP's Australia's business was losing ground, reporting negative growth in the December quarter. Globally, WPP is forecasting growth of between flat and 1% for 2024. 

VML is currently defending the Defence Force Recruitment creative account. Submissions have closed and insiders say the client is looking for a change. 

The industry has expected job losses since the WPP announced that VMLY&R will merge with Wunderman Thompson to become VML, the industry’s largest creative company with more than 30,000 people in 64 markets. 

At a market briefing, WPP CEO Mark Read said the group is seeking annualised net cost savings of £125 million (AUD 240 million) in 2025, with 40% to 50% of that expected in 2024.  

WPP’s growth has been pulled back by account losses in retail and consumer packaged goods and cautious clients in the face of a technology downturn and an uncertain economic climate.  

VML revealed its global creative leadership team in January. 

AdNews has contacted VML. 

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