The merger of WPP and STW in Australia creates an $850 million business. It dwarfs the nearest competition by a long way and CEO of the newly formed WPP AUNZ, Michael Connaghan, expects it to punch through $1 billion before too long. With more than 90 agencies in the combined business, consolidation is inevitable. Connaghan said as much, speaking to AdNews just hours after the merger was passed by shareholders.
“If it made sense for one of the local brands to become part of a global unit to strengthen that, then yes. We’re hardly going to be retiring any of the global brands anytime soon, but we will be trying to make them stronger,” he said. “Fewer, bigger better: that remains a work in progress at all times. We’ll always look for opportunities to build scale where 2+2=6, but we’re not going to be just mashing things together because it looks good on a flow chart. There’s got to be reasons for it and some obvious benefits – there are some really obvious things we can look at, but on day one we’re not really in a position to talk about them.”