7 biggest agency mergers, acquisitions and shake-ups of 2018

So many deals, so many agency name changes

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Wunderman Thompson's Mel Edwards and Tamara Ingram
Wunderman Thompson's Mel Edwards and Tamara Ingram Credit: Courtesy Wunderman Thopmson

The agency space was all about the art of the deal.

Forsman & Bodenfors
The Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners name vanished when the MDC Partners company merged with sibling Forsman & Bodenfors in mid-September, taking on the Swedish shop's name.

IPG got techie
Interpublic announced a $2.3 billion deal to buy Acxiom's Marketing Solutions business, one of the biggest plays in the agency space since Publicis bought Sapient in 2014. The deal put Acxiom under IPG's umbrella aligned with IPG Mediabrands.

The combined name prompted industry snickering, but the merger of VML and Y&R was a big step toward WPP CEO Mark Read's goal to fix some of WPP's creative underperformers.

Wunderman Thompson
Two months to the day after VMLY&R was made official, the world's largest holding company announced a deal to merge Wunderman with JWT.

Intel's inside move
Intel gutted its internal creative group, Agency Inside, as it looked to put fewer resources into consumer-facing marketing and concentrate more on b-to-b.

S4 snaps up MediaMonks
A mere month and a half after Martin Sorrell stepped down as CEO of WPP, he already had a plan in the works for S4 Capital. The new company had a bidding battle with WPP for MediaMonks before winning in July.

MDC's . . .TBD
MDC Partners had a rough 2018. In December, a sale was looking imminent, with rumors that private equity firms are sniffing around the holding company.

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