Now WPP turns to designer Martin Lambie-Nairn to put some oomph into research giant TNS

WPP-owned research giant TNS has turned to veteran designer Martin Lambie-Nairn to put some sparkle into the company, which WPP bought for £1.1bn in 2008.

Lambie-Nairn, best known for his Channel 4, BBC and O2 design work, sold his company to WPP in 1999. In effect he will become creative director of TNS, revamping its logo and also helping with pitches and client assignments.

This is an unusual, not to say peculiar, appointment for a research company but TNS has disappointed since it joined WPP. The company’s research arm Kantar is currently lagging revenue progress in WPP’s advertising and media divisions.

Kantar boss Eric Salama, who left the main WPP board to take over Kantar before the TNS deal, must be under growing pressure to make WPP’s huge investment pay off.

So far Kantar has failed to disturb market leader Nielsen’s dominance of the massive US TV research sector (surely one of the reasons for buying it as TNS used to do the same job in the UK) and is facing the likelihood of a much bigger and more powerful Ipsos (which owns MORI in the UK) if the French firm succeeds in buying rival researcher Synovate from media buying group Aegis.

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