Until its merger into Wavemaker in 2017, Maxus was the youngest of WPP's global media networks. Originally launched in 2004, it initially served to consolidate a collection of existing stand-alone units located mostly in Asia, including Maximize and Motivator, as well as three former Zenith Media offices in Hong Kong, Indochina and India. During 2005, however, Maxus expanded its presence to the US and Europe, picking up work from a number of major clients. In the UK, Maxus's interests were represented for several years by BJK&E, a standalone unit that had originally been a joint venture with Interpublic. BJK&E rebranded as Maxus UK in early 2009, as did Spanish media agency CICM, previously part of Tapsa. Maxus arguably came of age in 2011 with the capture of the global SC Johnson and US NBC Universal accounts, and by the end of 2012, Maxus was operational in 55 markets in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific (but not South America). Like sister networks Mindshare, MEC and Mediacom it shared the resources of WPP's media negotiation unit GroupM. At the end of 2012, Maxus moved its global HQ to India following the appointment of Vikram Sakhuja as global CEO. He was replaced in 2014 by Lindsay Pattison, based in London. She took on a new role in 2017 as chief transformation officer for WPP media umbrella GroupM and soon afterwards WPP announced the merger of Maxus into larger sibling MEC to create Wavemaker.
Capsule checked 29th March 2020
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Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Sep 2017: WPP finally confirmed the name for the merger of MEC and Maxus. The new network will be called Wavemaker, a name inherited from the former MEC's content development division. The group's explanation for the choice of the name is typically contrived: "Making waves happens when media, content and technology come together - activating against our unrivalled purchase journey understanding for the clients we represent." CEO Tim Castree added, "Our purpose is to provide advertisers with the power to transform and grow their business through our Purchase Journey obsession". The network's logo abbreviates the name to simply WM, supposedly, the PR bumf claims, a reflection of its heritage in the W of WPP and M of GroupM. How *do* they come up with this stuff? The merger of MEC and Maxus is expected to complete by January 2018. The combined business will have 139 offices in 90 countries and billings of $38bn.
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Aug 2017: WPP's GroupM media division is expected to unveil the new name for the merged MEC-Maxus network by the end of August. One bit of advance news from CEO-designate Tim Castree is that it won't begin with an M. "We thought it was time to unleash ourselves from the burden of only 'M' words," he told Campaign. He also revealed that pan-regional leadership will be dropped in favour of country-by-country management. Local managers of the top eight markets - which together account for around 70% of business - will report directly to him, while the remaining markets will report to an existing country leader in the same region. "We absolutely want to reorient the business as such so that we eliminate the idea of overhead roles versus revenue roles.... We're retooling the way we think about the business where it's really about clients and markets."
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Jun 2017: WPP announced the surprise merger of its two smaller media networks MEC and Maxus in the pursuit of greater operational efficiency. The combined business will adopt a new name, as yet undisclosed. MEC's current leader Tim Castree will become CEO of the merged network; Maxus chief Lindsay Pattison was recently named as chief transformation officer across all WPP media networks. The merger is expected to take six months to implement and will affect all offices except India, where the substantial local Maxus agency will continue to exist as a standalone unit alongside the renamed MEC office. The combination of administrative duties and geographic offices could lead to some redundancies, but some of these savings will be used to fund the expansion of WPP's separate digital media agency Essence. This will add traditional media capabilities, though it will remain "digital first", and will also build a wider geographic footprint, replacing Maxus as the fourth pillar to WPP's GroupM umbrella. The two main media networks within GroupM, Mindshare and Mediacom, are unaffected by the changes.
Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd May 2017: Lindsay Pattison, London-based CEO of WPP's Maxus media network, has added an additional role. She also becomes chief transformation officer for WPP's media umbrella GroupM, "helping deliver the best of GroupM to key clients, together with other WPP companies, regardless of the client’s entry point to the group."
Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Oct 2014: WPP appointed Lindsay Pattison, head of its Maxus media network in the UK, as global CEO, replacing Vikram Sakhuja. That change effectively moves Maxus's head office out of India and back to a more traditional base split between London and New York.
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