WPP's Team Detroit gets a new name

Formed in 2007 to service primary client Ford Motor, Team Detroit is turning the page by rebranding as Global Team Blue, or GTB for short.

DEARBORN, MI: WPP has rebranded Team Detroit, Blue Hive, and Retail First under a single global identity called Global Team Blue or GTB, the holding company said Thursday.

The new name reflects the agency’s "unified vision, innovative mindset, and true worldwide reach," the holding company said in a statement. It created a revamped logo and website for adoption over a transition period this year.

GTB’s leadership team includes CEO Satish Korde, COO Kim Brink, and global chief content officer Toby Barlow. Barlow’s title was chief creative officer at Team Detroit, but he said it was altered to "reflect the changing advertising landscape." There are no major staff changes for the agencies involved with the rebranding, Barlow said.

GTB operates on six continents and has 49 offices and is WPP’s largest agency team with more than 2,000 staffers. The holding company has 48 global client teams.

"[Team Detroit, Blue Hive, and Retail First] were each born to serve the same purpose; they all share a P&L," said Barlow. "Combining them into one brand was a way to simplify it. We are also working more and more with other WPP partners, so having one brand, identity, and one clear mission makes it easier for those other resources to plug in and help our clients."

Barlow noted that Global Team Blue aims to give clients best-in-class comms, marketing, and digital solutions.

"We are far from being a boutique," he said. "We are very agnostic in terms of what that solution might look like and look far beyond our own borders globally to try and find the best partners to find those solutions."

Team Detroit was formed in 2007 with the fusion of the Detroit chapters of J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy, Mindshare, Y&R, and Wunderman. The constituent agency teams in other markets, which were branded Blue Hive, are also adopting the Global Team Blue identity. Hudson Rouge, the firm for Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln, will maintain its name.

Barlow explained that the name "Global Team Blue" came about because "Team Detroit" was a misnomer because the firm is global. The color blue pays homage to the logo color of primary client Ford Motor, as well as blue-sky thinking.

Last month, GTB launched FordPass, a system that allows drivers to remotely unlock, locate, and start their vehicle via a smartphone app, along with other WPP partners.

"FordPass is something we will continue to work on, helping ford to fulfill its vision of having one foot in the present and one foot in the future," said Barlow.

Other GTB clients include Johnson Controls, Ohio Art, and Purina.

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