On-site agency Oliver has well and truly upset the agency applecart over the past few years, its biggest coup is setting up 30 or so such agencies for Unilever, and now WPP-owned digital giant Wunderman is biting back with its own operation Wunderman inside – led by former Oliver COO James Sanderson.
Wunderman Inside is an extension of the model that Wunderman operates with a number of clients including News UK, jointly with The&Partnership, Best Buy and Sainsburys.
Wunderman global CEO Mark Read says: “There’s growing demand from clients for greater proximity to their marketing teams. Wunderman Inside combines strong on-site resources and the strategic and creative power of the agency to give clients the right balance of speed, cost efficiency and innovation. We believe this is a more effective long-term model than typical in-house agencies that struggle to attract talent and consultancy-led models where clients become dependent on expensive resources.
“We could not have found a better person than James to lead it. He has extensive experience in the industry, particularly in developing and expanding an in-house creative offering. Now he can do that with the strength of Wunderman behind him.”
Sanderson (above) says: “Wunderman is a highly-regarded agency because its services aren’t static – it understands what clients want and continually develops what it offers to meet those needs. I’m really looking forward to leading this new practice and helping Wunderman to reinforce its client-side credentials.”
Wunderman, once a direct marketing agency, has been transformed under Read, who’s also head of WPP Digital. It’s the biggest agency-owned digital contender, battling away with the consultants headed by Accenture Interactive, and has grown rapidly since Read took over.
As such it’s the shining light in WPP’s agency portfolio, leading some to speculate that it might take over one of WPP’s creative networks too. It took charge of WPP’s digital network Possible last year. Read has also emerged as the amateur bookies’ favourite to succeed Sir Martin Sorrell as head of WPP.