Dentsu Aegis Network folds Mcgarrybowen and Dentsu brand shops into one network
Dentsu Aegis Network has folded the Mcgarrybowen and Dentsu brand agencies into one network, called Dentsumcgarrybowen. The network is comprised of creative, content, design and experience shops outside Japan and also includes Isobar, John Brown and Dentsu PR firms such as Mitchell, which will retain their own individual brands.
Dentsumcgarrybowen will be led by Global Co-Presidents Merlee Jayme and Jon Dupuis, who report to Jean Lin, global CEO of creative at Dentsu Aegis Network. Gordon Bowen, founder and global chairman of Mcgarrybowen, is now global chairman of Dentsumcgarrybowen. Bowen also retains his position as chief creative officer of Dentsu Aegis Network, a role he took up last year.
A Dentsu Aegis Network spokesperson also confirmed Jennifer Hohman, global chief marketing officer for Interpublic Group of Cos.' FCB, joined as global chief growth officer of Dentsumcgarrybowen. FCB did not immediately return a request for comment. Jennifer Zimmerman, chief strategic officer of Mcgarrybowen, becomes chief strategy officer of Dentsumcgarrybowen.
The new entity is comprised of more than 3,000 creatives working in 33 locations representing 24 markets.
Lin, who remains global CEO of Isobar, called the consolidation "a critical next step for Dentsu Aegis Network's ambition to grow a world-class global creative and experience offering and idea-led practice with innovation and technology at the heart."
The consolidation is a further step in the holding company's push toward becoming "One Dentsu"—a strategy that has been led by Tim Andree, executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, and is similar to Publicis Groupe's "Power of One." That strategy saw the creation of three lines of businesses last year: creative, customer relationship management and media. Within creative is now Dentsumcgarrybowen and Isobar; within CRM is Merkle and 360i; and within media is Carat and iProspect.
"The formation of Dentsumcgarrybowen, together with the rich experience capabilities of sister agency Isobar, will enable Dentsu Aegis Network to deliver powerful global solutions for our clients through creative experiences at scale across the customer journey," Lin added.
Jayme said in a statement that the network combines "the legacy and heritage of the East" (where the Dentsu brand is strong) and "the entrepreneurial spirit of the West" (Mcgarrybowen).
"It’s a positive move to drive some consistency and give Mcgarrybowen a stronger global footprint," R3 Co-Founder and Principal Greg Paull told Ad Age. "The big opportunity should be on a better partnership for their Japanese clients Toyota, Shiseido, Kao and others, to have a move cohesive structure and service alignment."
Clients of Dentsumcgarrybowen include Ajinomoto, American Express, Asahi Breweries, Canon, Disney, Hershey, Kao, Marriott, Shiseido, Subway, The Coca-Cola Company, Toyota, and United Airlines—some of which have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
One person familiar with the consolidation but wished to remain anonymous told Ad Age that the reorganization has been in the works since January. While the reason for the consolidation is not directly related to the pandemic, the person said it does have its advantages in this environment as it will come with cost savings, especially for Mcgarrybowen which has been "struggling" from the health crisis. The person claimed Mcgarrybowen has lost significant revenue in the U.S. due to the pandemic.
Asked to comment, the agency said: "Like other agencies, we are not immune to the impacts of coronavirus, but we have leveraged our ability to consult with our clients to help them evolve as we learn what the new world looks like. While some clients are scaling back, we continue to have a strong new business pipeline.”
“We are creating a next-generation global creative agency built on a fundamental premise: that clients deserve better," Dupuis said in a statement. "Our goal is to build a network for the client needs of today and tomorrow and meet their requirements for strategic and creative expertise, delivered at global scale.”
The consolidation follows the announcement last month that Wendy Clark, former DDB Worldwide global CEO, would be joining in the new role of global CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network. That same month, Dentsu Aegis Network carried out furloughs, staff cuts and salary reductions across the holding company and its agencies.