Young & Rubicam Brands is the umbrella for a collection of marketing services providers led traditionally by advertising agency Y&R but increasingly dominated by digital & direct marketer Wunderman. It has been a wholly owned subsidiary of WPP since 2000, but continues to operate as a largely self-contained group. Despite strong performance by some of its individual agencies, Y&R's notional independence was compromised in the mid 2000s by patchy overall performance. An overhaul of management was unable to prevent the loss of a number of major accounts between 2002 and 2005. Performance stabilised following the appointment of global CEO Peter Stringham in 2007 (until 2016), but the main Y&R Advertising business has continued to lose precedence within the group to faster-growing stablemate Wunderman.
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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Aug 2018: WPP made further changes to its portfolio of international joint ventures. It agreed to terminate an increasingly acrimonious joint venture in India by selling its minority stake in the local office of Y&R - known as Rediffusion Y&R - back to Rediffusion's co-founders and majority owners Arun Nanda and Ajit Balakrishnan. Dentsu, a minority partner in the agency as a legacy of the old DY&R joint venture across Asia, has also sold its shares. As a result, the agency will revert to its original name of Rediffusion, leaving the Y&R network - for the time being at least - with no direct presence in India. Rediffusion will also take control of the existing Indian outposts of Wunderman and Sudler & Hennessey, which become Rediffusion Direct and Rediffusion Health respectively. WPP will relaunch the Y&R, Wunderman and Sudler brands in India, and also agreed to take full control of another Rediffusion joint venture, mobile marketing agency Madhouse.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd May 2018: WPP took the final steps to end a long-established partnership between Y&R and Dentsu in Asia. It bought out the Japanese group's shares in several Y&R and Wunderman units in South East Asia, as well as in healthcare agency Dentsu Sudler & Hennessey in Japan. In return, WPP surrendered its own shares in Dentsu Y&R and Wunderman Dentsu in Tokyo. Now wholly owned by Dentsu, they are rebranding as Dentsu e3 and Dentsu Direct Solutions respectively.
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 23rd November 2017: Y&R named former Publicis executive Chris Foster as president of its Asia region, based in Singapore. Foster had spent almost two decades in senior roles at Saatchi & Saatchi and associated companies, and was most recently president, global clients across the whole Publicis Groupe.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Jan 2017: Industry pundit Patrick Collister's Big Won rankings of the world's most awarded agencies, campaigns and creatives were published for 2016. There were few surprises at the top of the networks table, with BBDO in 1st place once again, far above second-placed Ogilvy. It is BBDO's 12th time in the top spot in 13 years. Rounding out the Top Five were Leo Burnett, Y&R and McCann. Tiny New Zealand did disproportionately well in the overall rankings, with the local outposts of BBDO and Y&R taking 1st and 2nd place among the world's most awarded individual agencies, as a result of Colenso BBDO's Brewtroleum campaign for local brewer DB and Y&R Auckland's global McWhopper campaign for Burger King. This was the world's single most awarded campaign last year. However it was really BBDO's year, with no fewer than six of its agencies among the Top Ten. No other network had more than one. Dentsu, Lola MullenLowe Madrid and AlmapBBDO Sao Paulo took the next three positions. There were only two independents (or virtual independents) among the Top 20: Forsman & Bodenfors at #7 and Droga5 NY at #18. See more details here.
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