WPP creates first-party data player from GroupM and Wunderman Thompson

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 28 April 2021

WPP has has brought together specialist data units of GroupM and Wunderman Thompson to create Choreograph, a global data company to help clients realise the value of their first-party data.

The new player will consult on and implement data and technology strategies, and advise on privacy-first approaches to navigate the fast-changing data landscape. 

"We are at an inflection point in the industry, where brands have an imperative to leverage their own first-party data to make advertising more relevant, effective and personal while fully respecting consumer privacy," says Mark Read, CEO of WPP.  

"We must also use data to gain insights, shape our creative work and measure results – and this requires a holistic approach that this integrated offering brings by enabling data to flow across client, agency, and media owners. 

"Uniting the powerful and established data units of GroupM and Wunderman Thompson into a single global data company is another important step in our simplification strategy.” 

Choreograph’s core belief is that marketers own their first-party data with consumer permission. Respect for privacy and the intentional use of data is at the heart of its approach. 

The company will offer four key product categories: audience insights and planning; private identity solutions; AI-based media optimisation; and predictive analytics.

Choreograph will operate as part of GroupM, with Kirk McDonald, the GroupM North America CEO, extending his remit to lead the new company.

Ryan Menezes, GroupM Australia chief technology & transformation officer: “While the digital landscape continues to evolve, WPP and GroupM clients in Australia & New Zealand are relying on us as trusted and consultative partners who can assist them in extracting the most value out of their data assets.

"Choreograph helps our clients’ first party data take centre stage, enabling future identity solutions that drive business growth and authentic creative and consumer experiences that improve media and marketing effectiveness. Our open, agnostic and flexible approach ensures that we can deliver on our core belief that clients - with consumer permission - should own and maintain absolute control over their first-party data.”

Choreograph builds on WPP’s extensive data and consultancy capabilities within its creative, media, PR and specialist agencies. Leveraging the common data and technology platform, WPP Open, Choreograph has a commitment to agnostic data partnerships, including cleanroom partners by market, creating unrivalled flexibility for clients.

McDonald is joined by a seasoned data and technology leadership team from across WPP along with more than 700 technologists, product developers and data scientists. 

Walgreens Boots Alliance is a premier Choreograph launch client, as part of the selection of WPP as its global marketing and communications agency in 2020.

Matt Harker, VP Global Marketing Strategy & Transformation, Walgreens Boots Alliance: “Choreograph delivers a unified identity-based approach, providing unique insights to fuel brand growth and power personalized experiences for our customers while fully respecting their privacy and preferences." 

Christian Juhl, GroupM Global CEO: “Data management today should reflect the data and technology savvy of the consumer. Choreograph is built on common-sense principles that allow marketers to manage and use their data. Our framework of manage and earn, expand and enrich, and activate and optimize is flexible, modular and designed for the future of data-based businesses, enabling marketers to create better experiences, stronger brands and trusted customer relationships.”

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