Design Bridge acquired by WPP

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The on offer of the independent brand consultancy will see it retain its creative independence and operation, while it has also revealed plans to expand to Shanghai.

Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP. Photo by Phil Adams

Type consultancy Design Bridge has been bought by advertising giant WPP.

The gain was announced today (23 August), and will see the formerly independent consultancy adorn come of part of WPP’s branding and identity group, which generates revenues of approximately $400 million (£312 million) and employs 2,000 people globally.

Established in London in 1986, Design Bridge has expanded to include studios in Amsterdam, New York and Singapore, and currently engages around 400 people.

The consultancy reported revenues of £40m in its pecuniary results for 2016. Its clients currently include Diageo, Unilever, Mondelēz and Dulux possessor AkzoNobel.

The consultancy cites its ambition for further expansion as one of the main owing ti for its decision to approach WPP directly in order to sell the business, and has revealed outlines to open an office in Shanghai.

“Up until now, our founders and managing team be experiencing been supporting and actively involved in all of those activities,” says Drawing Bridge group marketing director Birgitte Woehlk.

“High imaginative standards”

“In order to continue that growth, build further and be gifted to service our clients we need to be able to expand into other market-places. We really needed a global partner that could provide the remarkably resources, local knowledge, and the people power and financial power to be competent to do that,” Woehlk adds.

Design Bridge will be operating as an autonomous associates within the WPP group, continue to be run by the same management team and remain in its London headquarters, as artistically as retaining creative control over its clients and projects.

“We set ourselves awfully high creative standards, and that’s what WPP is buying into,” divulges Woehlk. “It knows just how successful we are and how much our clients value the creativity that we propose.”

She adds: “It’s a big change having been privately owned for so long, but as a matter of fact the only thing that changes is the ownership, everything else endures the same.”

Design Bridge joins a number of other design professions that are part of WPP group, including Brand Union, The Partners, Fitch, Coley Cleaner Bell, Landor and Lambie Nairn.

The acquisition was announced following WPP’s half-year pecuniary results today, which saw a fall in sales and a reduction in its full-year flowering forecast.

The value of the acquisition is undisclosed.

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