Ogilvy & Mather, Malone form new kind of agency

NEW YORK - OgilvyAction, the activation arm of Ogilvy & Mather, and Malone Advertising, the retail marketing unit of JWT, both part of WPP Group,have announced a joint venture in North America to form the first fully integrated, end-to-end shopper marketing and experiential marketing agency.

According to the companies, JWT/OgilvyAction Inc., the new legal entity that will conduct business under the OgilvyAction and JWT Action brands, is a new model in shopper marketing designed to help brands and retailers reach and influence consumers at every touchpoint along the path-to-purchase. The new venture represents the first time that clients will have access to the complete range of shopper and retail marketing services -- shopper marketing, retailer relationships, retail sales programs, consumer promotions, local and retail media and media buying, direct response advertising, planning, creative services, digital activation and experiential marketing all with deep research, analytics and measurement, from a single source.

Fred Bidwell, formerly president of Malone, where he has served for 20 years, will act as executive chairman of the joint venture.  

"This move was based on client need," said Bidwell.  "With all the changes in the retail space and consumer buying habits, clients told us their brands now require a wider range of resources and a truly holistic approach to shopper marketing, brand activation and integration.  The joint venture is not focused on a marketing discipline, but instead on what a client needs.  Then we build a media agnostic program from that base."