WPP launches new-style agency Black Ops

WPP backing start-ups is a newish aspect of the Mark Read era and there’s another on the blocks: WPP Black Ops described as a “multi-disciplinary start-up dedicated to solving business problems.”

Black Ops is launching with P&G brand SK-II’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic sponsorship (assuming there is a Tokyo Olympics) and claims to have cracked the bried in just 48 hours. And how? With BEAUTY IS #NOCOMPETITION.

Well it might have legs, Coronavirus permitting.

At the helm are founders Nihar Das and Danni Mohammed, working with creative consultant Leo Savage (all below, Das right.). Black Ops will cherry pick talent from WPP-owned agencies and others, from wherever, for its teams. There will be “hubs” in London, Singapore, Israel and Japan.

Co-founder Das (formerly of MediaCom) says: “WPP Black Ops has developed from an idea that originated almost a year ago when we assembled the core team to solve the SK-II Olympic challenge – the brand’s most ambitious project to date.

“What started out as an experimental working model for one client escalated into a new proposition with wide relevance and appeal that’s all about flexibility – drawing in the right people, and structuring on a bespoke, project-by-project basis. Our focus is on generating original work and taking clients into new and undefined spaces.

“We chose the name Black Ops for its association with rapid response and synchronous left-right thinking. We win on the back of legendary work.”

Black ops actually means a covert operation of some some sort, unlikely to be legal. But it’s catchy enough and may attract those clients (as it has P&G) keen to work with a different sort of agency.

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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.

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