The Big Story: WPP’s Big Plan

The Big Story podcast

The Big Story is a breezy podcast featuring a roundtable of AdExchanger editors talking about the biggest stories from the past week. It is available wherever you subscribe to podcasts.

On Tuesday, WPP CEO Mark Read uncorked his plan to get the holding company back on his feet.

While it wasn’t hugely surprising – Read will continue the creative and digital consolidation that he already started by merging VML and Young & Rubicam and J. Walter Thompson and Wunderman – where does media net out in all of this?

And, unfortunately, Read also confirmed that there will be layoffs.

This week on “The Big Story,” the AdExchanger team looks at what Read has done, what Read still might do, and what he’s up against.

Certainly the need for holding companies to be more streamlined, nimble and client-accessible (How many buzzwords were in that sentence?) has been well-documented. But the magnitude of the change at WPP makes its situation unique.

The changing way brands want to work with agencies, the lightning emergence of untapped consumer channels and the growth of dynamic new competition place legacy holdcos like WPP in a change-or-die position.

Also on “The Big Story”… it was all yellow.

At least it was for a bunch of publishers last week, when a training exercise at Google went haywire and carpet bombed the internet with a bunch of blank yellow ads. Hey, Xandr did it first.

Except that this was a real mistake. The problem with the yellow ads, besides the fact that they advertised absolutely nothing, is that they were massively expensive, with CPMs north of $20.

But don’t worry, this holiday story has a happy ending.

Hear it on “The Big Story.”

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