Staff Reporters
Apr 8, 2021

Grey areas linger around AKQA merger appetite

AGENCY REPORT CARD: Grey is starting to make better use of its APAC staff and resources, but we’re missing clarity on how its merger with AKQA may help it succeed.

Grey campaign for WWF, Your Plastic Diet
Grey campaign for WWF, Your Plastic Diet

Grey took a sizeable step forward in 2020 in bringing its agency network together to work more productively and cooperatively thaks to a new ‘borderless OS’ that included a creative crowdsourcing tool and the rollout of a new intelligence platform.

The obvious benefit of being more joined-up is that Grey can properly sell its expertise and capabilities more widely as it did launching a new AMEA-wide sustainability practice and forming the Grey Commerce Collective (CoCo).

But what everyone would like to hear more about, is more details around the November announcement of ‘AKQA Group’ in merging with Grey. It is still early in the process, but what we’re not yet hearing from Grey is an outpouring of enthusiasm toward the deal or early signals on how AKQA will fit into Grey’s new ‘borderless culture’.

Thanks to rigid cost-cutting and some senior staff pay cuts, Grey commendably avoided any layoffs, keeping all its APAC employees working through 2020 and still managed to turn a profit. Creatively Grey faced the difficult task of living up to its great successes of 2019 when it was WPP’s best performing regional network at Cannes.

So how well did it do?

Our full Agency Report Card on Grey—with the overall grade plus a detailed analysis and scores for management; innovation; clients and business; creativity; and people and diversity—is available only to Campaign Asia-Pacific members.

Become a member to get access to all 39 of the 2020 Agency Report Cards, plus many additional benefits. 

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