WPP’s Kantar ditches sub-brands in drive for client-friendly (and buyer) simplicity

Retirement is a comfy option for some but not, perhaps, if you’re a brand.

WPP’s big research operation Kantar has announced it’s going to retire all its multifarious sub-brands – including some famous names like Kantar Millward Brown and Kantar Worldpanel plus newly-minted Kantar Consulting. CEO Eric Salama says: “The change in our branding reflects the operational changes already happening across our company, and is driven by a desire to achieve simplicity, scale and impact for our clients.

“This one change will make Kantar easier for clients to understand and work with. Removing barriers to co-creation and purposeful collaboration across our organization will make it easier for Kantar to build platforms and offers globally that address our clients’ most pressing needs.”

It’s another example of the current trend among holding companies to emphasise what they think (or hope) clients want rather than adding layers to their empires. And, probably, a way of cutting numbers.

Kantar is officially up for sale with WPP saying it hopes to sell a majority stake in the business, optimistically valued at around £3bn. Presumably these changes make life a bit easier for a buyer although it wouldn’t surprise anyone if WPP decides to hang on to it.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.