WPP’s Sorrell gives troubled Y&R a big vote of confidence with planned move from Madison Avenue to 26-storey Columbus Circle

Well that’s the way it looks anyway as WPP has taken an option to move Young & Rubicam into 3 Columbus Circle, a big refurbed office block off 8th Avenue and near Central Park.

This would mean Y&R departing its 285 Madison Avenue HQ, the agency’s home since its foundation in 1923. If it goes ahead with the deal Y&R will take 300,000 sq ft in the 768,000 sq ft tower.

Y&R, once the biggest agency in the US under famous boss Ed Ney, was bought by Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP in 2000. The agency, the flagship company in WPP’s Y&R Brands which also includes PR firm Burson-Marsteller and direct marketer Wunderman, has had a torrid 2011, losing boss Hamish McLennan and a number of key accounts including Accenture, Office Depot and $360m Sears. McLennan was replaced by Wunderman boss David Sable.

Sears was handled out of Y&R’s Chicago office, leading to speculation that Y&R might close it and move what was left to New York.

There’ll certainly be room in its vast new HQ.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.