VML is a highly regarded digital marketing agency, part of the Young & Rubicam group within WPP, operating alongside Wunderman. Still headquartered in its original home of Kansas City, Missouri, it has established a global footprint since its alignment with Y&R. At least six new outposts were established in 2013 alone, including offices in Japan, in Poland (through a partnership with local group Heureka), in China (through the acquisition of local agency IM2.0, now VML ) and in South Africa, through local agency Native, now Native VML. By mid 2016 there were 28 offices in 15 countries.
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Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Feb 2018: The Y&R brand is being consigned to history in South Africa after several years of weak performance. The last remaining outpost in Johannesburg is being merged into the local outpost of digital sister agency VML, which will now offer a full range of marketing services. Two other Y&R offices in Cape Town and Durban were closed last year. VML South Africa was created from the acquisition of local digital agency Native in 2012. This marks Y&R's latest withdrawal from a mid-size advertising market. The agency's offices in Canada were merged into standalone WPP-owned agency Taxi in 2015.
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Feb 2018: Ads of the Week: "Fearlessly Independent Since 1906". Sportswear brand New Balance doesn't have the money to pay big endorsement fees so it has to try something a bit different to grab some limelight from Nike and Adidas. This new campaign, the first from new global agency VML, has a lovely down-home-and-dirty garageland feel to it. All goes to show that character sometimes beats style (and cash). We'll be honest: we haven't heard of any of the mostly American athletes featured apart from German soccer star-turned-manager Jurgen Klopp. We're hoping they're all a bit cooler over there than he is here in Europe.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Oct 2017: Y&R London chief executive Jon Sharpe is moving across to sister agency VML to head up a newly created VML Europe division. His place will be taken at Y&R by Paul Lawson, chief executive of Leo Burnett London since 2011.
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Oct 2016: VML was named as lead creative agency worldwide for New Balance sports shoes and apparel, straddling traditional as well as creative, and taking over from Arnold Worldwide. VML will also take the lead in a new WPP unit to manage integrated comms for Electrolux domestic appliances in North America, partnering other group-owned shops including Geometry, Mediacom and Cohn & Wolfe.
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Nov 2015: Two big digital wins for WPP agencies: VML was awarded lead for Pringles snacks across the Asia pacific region, while AKQA collected global digital for Jaegermeister.
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