Newell Brands picks WPP as global comms partner

WPP is launching Team Newell to handle the account globally. BCW will work on the business.

NEW YORK: CPG company Newell Brands has selected WPP as its marketing and communications partner for its portfolio of brands globally.

Newell Brands chose WPP after a review of its agency relationships, according to a statement from the holding company.

WPP is launching Team Newell to grow Newell Brands, help the company leverage its scale, and focus on developing integrated communications across a broad range of channels, the network said in a statement.

Team Newell is an expansion of an existing relationship between WPP and Newell Brands, which named J. Walter Thompson as its lead agency in 2016. JWT was recently merged with digital shop VML to create VMLY&R.

Geometry, Mindshare, and Eicoff will add their respective services in shopper marketing, media investment management, and direct response TV to Team Newell; Wunderman Thompson will handle digital marketing; and VMLY&R will be responsible for social media.

They will join current Newell Brands agencies Burson Cohn & Wolfe, Superunion, and Wunderman Thompson to create Team Newell. The group will be based in New York with Eva Ruzicka serving as WPP global team leader for Newell Brands.

Newell Brands’ portfolio includes Paper Mate, Sharpie, Elmer’s, Mr. Coffee, Graco, Rubbermaid, Contigo, First Alert, and Yankee Candle. The company posted $2.28 billion in net sales in Q3, missing analysts’ expectations.

Last fall, Cohn & Wolfe hired Laura Springer as EVP in its New York consumer practice to advance the agency’s work with Newell Brands. She is currently EVP at BCW Global, according to her LinkedIn account.

BCW was formed via the combination of WPP shops Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe under CEO Donna Imperato in February, creating the third-largest agency in the world by revenue. It also acquired creative shop HZ Group in August.

This month, WPP CEO Mark Read unveiled his plan to transform WPP into a "creative transformation company" that will be focused on communications, experience, commerce, and technology. Read also said he is not planning to combine additional agencies after the mergers of VML and Y&R and JWT and Wunderman. The holding company is reportedly planning to lay off 3,500 employees globally.

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