Home Agencies Brian Wieser Leaps From Pivotal Research To Global Role At GroupM

Brian Wieser Leaps From Pivotal Research To Global Role At GroupM


Brian Wieser is heading back to the agency world, joining WPP’s media buying unit GroupM as global president of business intelligence, the company said Wednesday. He will report to GroupM CEO Kelly Clark.

It might seem like an odd time to jump to an agency, given the volatility of the industry and the epic amount of consolidation happening across the holding companies. But Wieser said that, independent of those challenges, agencies are among the most durable parts of the business.

Wieser joins after a seven-year stint as an analyst at Pivotal Research, where he carved out a niche focusing on the convergence of agencies, big marketing tech companies and media platforms.

His mandate at WPP will also follow those lines, though his specific duties haven’t been etched out yet: “I’m having a conversation about that this morning,” he told AdExchanger.

Wieser joins WPP as two of its influential execs, Global Chief Digital Officer Rob Norman and Futures Director Adam Smith, transfer to part time roles.

Both are still involved with WPP, and Wieser will collaborate with them.

It’s a crucial time for agencies in general, as big marketers re-think their strategies. The watershed, Wieser said, happened June 2017, when Amazon bought Whole Foods.

“The Amazon–Whole Foods thing was an Aha! moment for many of the world’s largest marketers,” Wieser said. While the concept of having a direct line to consumers wasn’t new at the time, the magnitude of the Whole Foods acquisition forced business leaders to realize that DTC concepts would upend the way large companies do business.

“I started to think about how large manufacturers are evolving their businesses, and if they’re not, how they need to,” Wieser said. “They’re not in the business of just keeping media owners in business. It’s a way to satisfy a goal.”

In some ways, Wieser’s role at GroupM is similar to what he did at IPG’s Magna for seven years, before his term at Pivotal.

But it will also be very different.

At GroupM, Wieser’s job will be more global, whereas at Magna, he had more US level responsibilities around “upfront dynamics” like marketplace forecasting for pricing. He won’t be doing that at GroupM.


AdExchanger Daily

Get our editors’ roundup delivered to your inbox every weekday.

As an analyst, Wieser was known as a free thinker with a view across the ad industry. But he’s not worried his association with WPP will cut off his insight into the goings-on of other companies.

“I wasn’t the analyst known for CEO access,” he said. “The work I did was based on studying the industry, using publicly available information.”

Must Read

Comic: An ID Bridge Too Far?

Programmatic Companies Wrestle With ID Bridging And What Counts As Fraud

In January, the Chrome browser removed third-party cookies for 1% of users, to facilitate testing of the Privacy Sandbox –  and a new controversy was born.

It’s Open Season On SaaS As Brands Confront Their Own Subscription Fatigue

For CFOs and CEOs, we’ve entered a kind of open hunting season on martech SaaS.

Brian Lesser Is The New Global CEO Of GroupM

If you were wondering whether Brian Lesser was planning to take some time off after handing the CEO reins of InfoSum to Lauren Wetzel last week – here’s your answer.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters
Comic: S.P. O'Middleman's

TripleLift CEO Dave Clark Abruptly Exits After Setting The SSP On A New Trajectory

Dave Clark, who’s led TripleLift for the past two years, is stepping down, effective immediately, and is being replaced by a coterie of TripleLifters.

shopping cart

Moloco Invests In Its Competitor Topsort As The Retail Media Stakes Go Up

Topsort can lean into Moloco’s algorithmic personalization, while Moloco benefits from Topsort’s footprint with local retailers in the US and in Latin America.

CDP BlueConic Acquires First-Party Data Collection Startup Jebbit

On Wednesday, customer data platform BlueConic bought Jebbit, which creates quizzes, surveys and other interactive online plugs for collecting data from customers.