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More changes at WPP’s GroupM as EssenceMediacom US boss steps down

WPP is still ringing the changes at its US GroupM media operation. Now EssenceMediacom North America CEO Jill Kelly (below) is out, moving to a vague-sounding group role, with new GroupM COO JiYoung Kim taking over in the interim. Sharb Farjami is the new CEO of GroupM in North America, its biggest market.

WPP has been struggling in North America with its organic revenue down in Q4 although its media agencies and doing better than creative. Publicis Media is the best-performing of the ad holding group media agencies although Omnicom’s OMG finished 2023 strongly.

With creative at the holding companies struggling for growth across the board, media agencies are the key to their fortunes. Scale still matters in media, especially as one of the most profitable lines of business is so-called “inventory,” in effect buying media and selling it on to clients. Acting as a broker or bank.

EssenceMediacom is WPP and GroupM’s biggest media agency but the combination of the two has not, so far, amounted to more than a sum of the parts.

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