Meerkats joins WPP AUNZ

10/08/2020 - 16:00

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Advertising agency Meerkats has been acquired by ASX-listed marketing company WPP AUNZ, and will operate in Perth under WPP’s Wunderman Thompson brand.

Meerkats joins WPP AUNZ
Doni Savvides (Left), Melanie Wiese, Martin Beecroft and Gavin Bain will be on the Wunderman Thompson leadership team.

Advertising agency Meerkats has been acquired by ASX-listed marketing company WPP AUNZ, and will operate in Perth under WPP's Wunderman Thompson brand.

Wunderman Thompson will now have more than 50 employees in Perth, making it the third largest advertising agency in the state, behind The Brand Agency (also owned by WPP AUNZ) and Marketforce, according to Data & Insights.

The agency will be led by former Meerkats chief executive Gavin Bain.

Its leadership team will comprise of Meerkats staff Martin Beecroft as chief innovation officer and Melanie Wiese as chief strategy officer, Perth and Wunderman Thompson's Doni Savvides as partner. 

Mr Bain said he approached Wunderman Thompson after seeing how J Walter Thompson and Wunderman merged to form the company two years ago.

“The Meerkats offer has evolved over the past few years so this is about boosting capabilities,” Mr Bain told Business News.

“The Wunderman Thompson offer globally really reminded me of what we were already doing so I started looking at it at that point and made the approach in September last year.”

He said the merger would allow Meerkats to have national reach and access global tools.

“We are doing a lot more digital transformation work, a lot more work with clients who are looking for more analytics and data capability so it [provides us] access to those tools, and it adds to our strategic offering,” he said.

WPP AUNZ chief executive Jens Monsees said the acquisition meant his team would be able to provide an even stronger capability to the Perth market.

“With an impressive roster of clients, and a platform of transformational strategy, EX/CX and technology-led innovation, Meerkats brings experience, skills and growth opportunities to our WA business,” he said.

Meerkats founders Ronnie Duncan and Mike Edmonds have not been part of the daily operations of the company for several years, and are leaving the company to pursue other interests.

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