- Newell Brands, owner of Rubbermaid, Elmer's, Sharpie, Coleman and more, has selected WPP as its global communications partner across all brands, following a review, according to a news release. Newell has been working with WPP since 2016 when it shifted its lead global creative business to WPP's J. Walter Thompson from BBH.
- WPP is planning to set up a dedicated unit called Team Newell, which will be made up of staff from Wunderman Thompson, VMLY&R, Mindshare, Geometry and Eicoff, according to an Adweek report. Burson Cohn & Wolfe and Superunion, which WPP refers to as a "next-generation global brand agency," have already started working with Newell and will continue working with the brand. Geometry, Mindshare and Eicoff will reportedly handle shopper marketing, media investment management and direct response TV for Newell. Wunderman Thompson will handle digital marketing, and VMLY&R will handle social media.
- Omnicom's PHD has led global media buying for Newell's Rubbermaid brand since 2013, and sources said the company didn't compete in the review to defend the business. IN Marketing Group had handled Newell’s shopper marketing, but was reportedly not invited to participate in the review.
Large ad holding groups like WPP have been working hard to make it easier for marketers to work across their organizations, making the Newell win an important one in that it could indicate these efforts are resonating. Among major multinational brands, 74% are reviewing their current agency arrangements, with some seeking to reduce the number of agencies they work with, bring more marketing functions in house or work with more specialists, according to the World Federation of Advertisers and The Observatory International.
WPP announced plans for restoring growth earlier this month, saying that it will focus on four business areas that it sees as crucial for brands: communications, experience, commerce and technology. The new approach, which ew CEO Mark Read called a "simpler offer," will help the company reach its goal of organic growth of at least 15% by 2021. WPP said it will simplify its network by restructuring around three principles: being more client-centric, having fewer but more integrated companies internally and focusing at the country level to leverage localized strengths.
The addition of Newell could help bolster WPP following the loss of big accounts like HSBC and American Express. Newell's domestic marketing spend is estimated at $101.5 million for last year and $16 million for the first half of 2018, according to Kantar Media estimates cited by Adweek.
Newell's decision to put its account up for review followed a company restructuring and a new focus on nine core consumer business, and the company sold assets, like Waddington and Rawlings. The restructuring integrated Rubbermaid, which had been a separate division, into the company's other brands, prompting the review to consolidate its marketing efforts with one agency network.
Along with Newell, WPP picked up packaged food company Mondelez and pet care and confectionary giant Mars this year. Mondelez selected WPP's GroupM following a media review. Mars also tapped GroupM for its consolidated media planning and buying functions after a year.