GroupM Merges MEC & Maxus; Ups Focus On Digital-First Essence

GroupM has undertaken a significant portfolio restructure that will lead to the merger of two of its agencies – MEC and Maxus into a yet to be christened entity. The global move will roll out in different ways, depending on the markets. In most cases, for the next few months though, it would be business as usual, including in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region.

While GroupM MENA did not respond to AM’s queries on the subject yet, it has to be understood that in the Middle East, Maxus operates as part of the BPG Group. This may have an impact on the manifestation of the move in MENA.

Globally, GroupM says that it is committing to the expansion of Essence, its digital-first agency, by adding traditional media capabilities and a larger geographic footprint to the agency’s existing media and creative credentials. In time, Essence will also lead several key GroupM client relationships as part of this restructure.

GroupM is also merging the global operations and teams of its agencies MEC and Maxus into a new billion dollar revenue, media, content and technology agency under the leadership of MEC’s CEO Tim Castree.

The media holding company’s portfolio will now comprise three global media agency networks — Mindshare, MediaCom, and the new company – each with more than one billion dollars in annual revenues, plus the digital-first agency, Essence. GroupM also plans new investments across all of its agencies and its [m]PLATFORM data and technology capabilities.

“We’re committed to improving our service to clients. These moves will give us greater focus, help us innovate, and improve our speed of delivery,” said Kelly Clark, Global CEO, GroupM.

Since Mr Clark became Global CEO in October 2016, GroupM has made a number of organizational changes. He recently appointed Lindsay Pattison as GroupM’s Chief Transformation Officer to lead a range of transformation initiatives. He named Mr Castree CEO of MEC in November 2016.

GroupM acquired Essence in November 2015.

“The leadership team at Essence is excited about the opportunities this creates for our clients and our people. Our mission is to make advertising more valuable to the world; with this infusion of talent, capabilities and markets, we can do this now on a bigger stage,” said Christian Juhl, CEO, Essence.

“Maxus and MEC share common values and ambitions. Both networks have a strong local market presence and entrepreneurial drive. Together, we believe we can create an exciting new media, content and technology agency which we look forward to introducing soon,” said Mr Castree.

“We’ve clearly signaled our ambition to transform, and we mean business. This allows us to more meaningfully invest in each agency’s future – retaining and attracting the best talent with inspiring and rewarding workplaces, creating differentiated cultures and approaches, and sharing in a focus on helping clients win,” said Ms Pattison.

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