WPP’s Group M has confirmed its agencies EssenceMediacom, Wavemaker, MSix & Partners and Mindshare will no longer be responsible for their own budgets as of 2024.
Though Group M has always operated a country-level profit and loss model, the change will be the first time budgets and resources are allocated solely on a country-by-country basis.
Global chief executive Christian Juhl revealed the news, the latest step in his plan for Group M’s restructure, in an interview with Business Insider this week.
Agency heads, he said, will retain responsibility for client growth and profitability but they will now have more time to focus on strategy and create efficiencies across the group.
Since taking over as CEO in October 2019, Juhl has been working to streamline the way Group M operates in a bid to make the group “more like a software company”, where technology is centralised so individual agencies have better access to it.
The restructure so far has included the creation of EssenceMediacom (and EssenceMediacom X in the UK) and the reorganisation of Group M’s global performance marketing division, Nexus, into two groups, (expert practices and media solutions) to better support the client-facing agencies.
As part of the shake-up at Nexus, it also moved product and engineering teams into its data arm Choreograph.
Group M’s restructure follows a similar restructuring process at rival agency Publicis Groupe, which has also moved to a model in which the UK serves as a platform for divisions across Europe. In October Niel Bornman, former CEO of Group M Nexus in EMEA, was appointed chief executive of Publicis Media UK and chief product and solutions officer for Publicis Groupe EMEA – a new, combined role for the group.
More details about the simplification of Group M are expected to be announced at its Capital Markets Day in January 2024.
Group M declined Campaign’s request for comment at this time.
In October, WPP reported a decline in revenues in Q3 and downgraded its annual revenue forecast for the second quarter in a row. At the time, it said it is planning to make back £100m in savings by 2025 through cutting “structural costs and inefficiencies”. Though minimal, job cuts are expected to be part of the plan.