WPP to open planning network

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[London] WPP Group is setting up a global communications planning network called Nylon in an attempt to replicate the success of independent communications planning agencies such as Naked and Michaelides & Bednash, but in a holding-company environment. Nylon, a joint venture between Young & Rubicam Brands and Mediaedge:cia, is opening in London and WPP plans to take the concept to New York within the next few months, then add other key markets. Nylon is already working with WPP clients including Xerox and Lego. The name Nylon was inspired by the New York-London connection. Nylon is already recruiting for the New York office. "Hopefully we will find a U.S. team but we can't rule out the inclusion of some Brits," said Martin Thomas, Nylon co-founder. "Communications planning is less developed in the U.S., so we have to be more lateral in looking for people with the right skills." Northern Europe, South Africa and Asia are the most likely regions to follow New York. Nylon's three founders are Tony Regan, a founding partner of communications planning pioneers Michaelides & Bednash and former joint managing director of Omnicom Group's PHD London; Martin Thomas, who was global head of communications planning at Mediaedge:cia; and Pru Parkinson, previously U.K. CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann.