WPP has formed a new sub-holding company, WPP Health & Wellness, that unites WPP’s broad capability under one banner to advance its offer and partnership with marketers across the spectrum of health and wellness. Created with a global perspective on the challenges and opportunities in today’s health industry, WPP Health & Wellness will build on WPP’s areas of competitive advantage to accelerate growth, new opportunities, and better health outcomes for its clients.
The unit will take shape in specific markets, including in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, in the course of the year, where a Middle East and an Africa hub will be created as part of the broader international strategy.
“Health and wellness is one of the most exciting sectors of the global economy and offers enormous opportunities for our businesses. WPP Health & Wellness will build on the excellent work we are already doing in this space and take us into new areas with a much more comprehensive offer. This new unit is significant because it represents the next evolution of horizontality, through which WPP will continue to lead and transform health marketing,” said Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, in a prepared statement.
WPP Health & Wellness is led by Global CEO Mike Hudnall, a 20-year marketing veteran with experience in healthcare marketing and global client leadership.
“Our clients today live in an increasingly regulated, outcomes-based, and consumer-driven world that presents complex challenges and significant opportunity for their business. We have been incredibly successful to date, and I am excited to build on our achievements and provide our clients with a higher level of strategic partnership, an expanded range of specialized modern services, and specialized healthcare capabilities in new sectors,” said Mr Hudnall.
The company’s strategic mission is to advance horizontality, mobilizing the entire WPP network for the benefit of its clients, particularly those served by WPP’s global healthcare client teams. The strategy includes three initial priorities in 2017:
#1. Creating A New Healthcare Specialist Unit: Building on a long history of partnership on Team Accounts, WPP Health & Wellness is placing four specialist agencies — Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, Sudler & Hennessey, ghg|greyhealth group, and CMI/Compas — into a new specialized healthcare unit. The agencies will continue to operate under their current brands, but will now be united by a shared vision and purpose, leverage shared services and resources, and mobilize talent across the unit to deliver the full depth and breadth of their specialized services to clients.
In the Americas, the agencies will continue to be led by their current leadership (Jed Beitler [Sudler & Hennessey], Lynn O’Connor Vos [ghg|greyhealth group], Stan Woodland [CMI/Compas], and Ogilvy CommonHealth’s four Managing Partners [Darlene Dobry, Michael Parisi, Shaun Urban, and Marc Weiner]).
The company is creating a new international healthcare specialist unit with hubs in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. Claire Gillis has been appointed to lead this international division as International CEO, Healthcare Specialist Agencies.
Previously, Ms Gillis was CEO of ghg|greyhealth group Europe. “Individually our healthcare agencies are well known and respected for their strong partnership and meaningful work they deliver for our clients. This new structure centers on keeping those brands and cultures alive, builds on those strengths, and enables new cross-agency collaboration that will benefit our clients and provide greater career opportunities for our people. We are focused on sharing best practices, scaling our strengths, and developing new services,” Mr Hudnall said.
#2. Developing A Specialized Health Consulting Service: Focused on providing innovative, pragmatic strategic counsel for marketers’ increasingly complex needs, WPP Health & Wellness will create a new health consulting capability. The service will build on and scale the group’s current brand strategy, medical affairs and market access capabilities to further advance its specialized offer.
#3. Creating A Robust Health-Focused Data & Insights Offering: WPP has more data sources and proprietary data assets than industry competitors. Building on this asymmetric advantage, WPP Health & Wellness will work with Group companies like Kantar, GroupM, and Wunderman to create one of the first-ever data and analytics capabilities and offers in health. This will provide clients with more sophisticated segmentation and targeting, the ability to use data to deliver more valuable information to change behavior, and most importantly, to deliver better health outcomes.