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That was a thrilling read;thanks for posting

likeuplifting

A thrilling read about Read’s downfall.

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Mash the brands together. This is the way

likefunny

Well it’s a joke. But hopefully with a fun outcome :)

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Also, maybe if conglomerates like P&G didn't bone agencies so hard on fees and drag things out in procurement, their precious agencies could actually thrive as separate entities. But what do I know.

likesmart

💯💯💯

What a cluster. The ad industry once again proves it couldn’t manage its way out of a paper bag.

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Mark Read is clearly out of his depth and won’t last much longer

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It's just a name change. It happens all the time in this industry. Why in the world would P&G be so butthurt over it? So long as the work and they key players remain, genuinely don't understand outside of some weird power play.

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Are you kidding me?!

Grey seems the better brand of the two right? I’d be less than happy if I was working at Grey and then all of a sudden was an AKQA employee, which is one of the worst agency names.

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Yea no shade on AKQA, they produce great work, but no ones happy about the name change.

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4/ One executive with knowledge of the situation insists there was a plan to ditch Grey entirely that was "changed to separate brands because of P&G displeasure." Another said that WPP leaders added "Group" to the AKQA name for the merged agency as a concession to include a part of the Grey name, as in Grey Global Group. A WPP spokesman responded in a statement: "Major clients were of course consulted on the plans in advance. As always, we listened to those clients, who helped to shape our approach as we bring together the capabilities of two great agencies." Whatever the case, P&G seems to be appeased. "P&G is looking forward to continuing to work with Grey and their talented people, who we deeply value," Pritchard added in his statement. "We’re expecting enhanced capabilities brought to Grey, and for the merger to be largely seamless to our brands and company."

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5/ Employee 'chaos' Internally, there was "chaos," as one exec describes it, over the disposition of the Grey name, according to five executives interviewed by Ad Age, who say it wasn't the merger that surprised employees and clients, but the positioning of AKQA as the dominant shop. Those seeking clarity were thwarted at a virtual “global town hall” with AKQA Founder Ajaz Ahmed and Grey Worldwide CEO Michael Houston, according to a Grey exec who attended. The exec says that employees expecting a town hall were surprised to instead encounter a pre-recorded broadcast between Ahmed and Houston as well as John Patroulis and Justine Armour, Grey’s worldwide and New York chief creative officers, respectively. No one was given a chance to ask questions of agency leaders, which galled many Grey employees, this person says, who were “blindsided." “They made a mess of this and clients got upset,” said another person familiar with the matter. “Grey people are furious and resisted completely.” WPP declined to comment.

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6/ Board pressure? According to two execs close to the matter, WPP’s directors have been twisting Read’s arm to get the ball rolling on further consolidation moves before the end of the year—pushing him to merge Grey and AKQA and, most recently, fold Geometry into VMLY&R. One exec says the board criticized Read for not doing enough in the two years since the 2018 mergers of VML and Y&R and Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson. The company’s board of directors is run by Chairman Robert Quarta and this year appointed new directors WPP Chief Financial Officer John Rogers, former Apple Retail Senior VP Angela Ahrendts, UCB Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer Sandrine Dufour and Crossword Cybersecurity Founder-CEO Tom Ilube.

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Gee, I don’t know why everybody from Grey is so upset. I mean, they took the name Grey Group and kept the “Group”. 🤦🏽‍♂️ (actual tiny picture of Micheal Houston)

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You mean?

1/ Chief Brand Officer Mark Pritchard demanded reassurance the Grey brand won't be completely retired When WPP announced it was merging Grey and AKQA, its press release said that "The AKQA Group will launch with the AKQA and Grey brands, which will be integrated over time into a single company." The combined 6,000-employee agency would be dubbed AKQA Group, leading to media reports, including in Ad Age, that the Grey brand would be killed off in favor of the digital agency's moniker. Campaign, which broke the story, initially wrote that the formation of AKQA Group “means the end of the Grey brand” which would eventually “be dropped.” "Grey has evolved many times over its 103 years and this is the next step in its evolution," Grey Worldwide CEO Michael Houston told Ad Age on the day of the announcement, Nov. 11. "As someone who works in the business of brands, while names are obviously important, brands are much more than their names as well."

2/ Enter Procter & Gamble. According to three people close to the business, though the client was briefed ahead of time on the merger itself, its executives were distressed to read in trade papers that the Grey name would be abandoned in favor of AKQA. This prompted P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard to call WPP CEO Mark Read, demanding to know why he wasn't informed that the Grey brand would be retired. And P&G is a client WPP can't afford to anger: According to Ad Age Datacenter estimates, P&G spent $4.3 billion on measured media in the U.S. in 2019. Grey has worked with the consumer goods giant for seven decades. In the past few years, Grey has been behind some of its most defining work, tackling toxic masculinity in “The Best a Man Can Be” for Gillette; and recently working with Grey-backed Cartwright to urge the silent majority to be anti-racist in “The Choice” for P&G.

3/ Though Pritchard declined to comment on the call to Read, he did confirm through a spokesperson that he "was upset" by news reports saying the Grey name would be "going away. He was told that this is not the case and that Grey 'will remain intact' and the Grey name is not going away," the spokesperson said. WPP, in fact, maintains that the AKQA Group integration is going to take time "based on client and market needs." The timetable, the company says, "will vary by market and client," and the Grey name will remain "for some time—for as long as it makes sense to do so in each case." So was this a case of WPP walking back a decision to accommodate an unhappy client, or a was it a vague communication that confused the press, clients and many of Grey's rank-and-file employees? That's, well, a gray area.

The pun 🙄

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