Wunderman Folds Designkitchen into Blast Radius

Move Will Give Blast Radius a Chicago Presence

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WPP's Wunderman is taking its Chicago-based digital shop Designkitchen and folding it into digital agency Blast Radius.

Both Blast Radius and Designkitchen are under the Wunderman umbrella, a group within Y&R that WPP has built up primarily through acquisition over the years. Designkitchen, has a 100-hundred employee office in Chicago; it will now be called Blast Radius, giving that name a presence in Chicago. Designkitchen also has a San Francisco outpost with fewer than 20 employees, and that location will change its name to Blast Radius eventually, though the agency declined to detail when.

Sam Landers, CEO of Blast Radius
Sam Landers, CEO of Blast Radius

"Individually, each agency has a strong reputation for delivering strategic, creative solutions for clients through brand and technology innovation," said Sam Landers, former head of Designkitchen and now global CEO of Blast Radius. "Over time, we've worked on several joint clients and seen the distinct advantages of working together. Today, our clients benefit from having one of the most talented groups assembled at their fingertips."

As head of Blast Radius, Mr. Landers is replacing Gurval Caer, who last March was named vice chairman, chief innovation and marketing officer of Wunderman. Mr. Landers was also named president of Wunderman's brand experience division, which was created to oversee digital properties of the network globally. Blast Radius North America is overseen by managing director Robin Forbes.

Designkitchen in 2012 had revenue of $23 million, according to Ad Age's DataCenter. Blast Radius had U.S. revenue of $58 million and non-U.S. revenue of $15 million. Clients at the combined agency now include Nike, Novartis, Starbucks, Nivea, Land Rover, HP and Motorola.

WPP bought Blast Radius in October 2007, aligning Blast Radius with WPP's Wunderman. Blast Radius, formed in 1996, has five offices in North America (Portland, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Seattle) along with five overseas (Paris, Amsterdam, London, Shanghai and Hamburg, Germany) . Designkitchen, founded by Mr. Landers, was acquired by Wunderman in July 2008.

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