Although they continue to operate as distinct brands, WPP's brand and design agencies Landor and Fitch have since 2020 operated under a single management team headed by CEO Jane Geraghty, with Tim Greenhalgh as chief creative officer working across both brands. A third brand under the umbrella is content creation studio ManvsMachine. AdAge estimated combined revenues of $190m in 2020, making this the larger of two such units within WPP, roughly twice the size of sibling Superunion. Landor originally joined WPP as part of the Y&R Brands business group, now VMLY&R. Its services include corporate branding and naming, packaging and retail design and general consultancy. The business was founded in 1941 by Walter Landor, who famously established the Klamath, a retired ferryboat in San Francisco Bay as its HQ during the 1960s. The business was acquired by Y&R after Landor's death in 1989. There are now 33 offices in 20 countries worldwide. Jane Geraghty succeeded Lois Jacobs as CEO at the end of 2017. While Landor offers general branding, Fitch is best-known for retail interior design. Founded in 1972 by Rodney Fitch, it was arguably the world's most admired design agency at its peak in the 1970s and early 1980s, widely credited with changing the face of retail design as a result of the overhaul of a string of ageing British high street chains including Marks & Spencer, Boots, Tesco, Topshop, Asda, Debenhams, Woolworths and Ikea as well as Heathrow Airport's Terminal 4, BT, the Imperial War Museum and BP's London HQ. Fitch now operates 15 studios in eight countries, but the biggest share of its business comes from the US, where it has five offices. It also has a strong presence in the Middle East and Asia. After almost 20 years of stellar performance, the agency suffered serious financial problems in the recession of the early 1990s and passed through several different hands before being acquired by WPP in 2003. Fitch himself had departed the business a decade earlier. Martin Sorrell tempted him back to serve as the agency's figurehead until 2009. He died in 2014.
Capsule checked 16th July 2021
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