Internal Memo: Mel Edwards and Tamara Ingram Introduce Employees to Wunderman Thompson

By Patrick Coffee 

In case you haven’t heard the news (you have), WPP made Mark Read’s second big-name merger official today as J. Walter Thompson joined with Wunderman to form… Wunderman Thompson.*

The rumor had been all over the agency world for the past few weeks, and now it’s on the books.

So how will these two legacy organizations change… and who will get the boot? We don’t yet know a whole lot except that Wunderman will be leaving its Columbus Circle headquarters for the third floor of JWT’s building, which recently saw some vacancies (looking at you, Xaxis).


We also know that Mel Edwards will continue to lead the new organization as global CEO and that Tamara Ingram, who succeeded one Gustavo Martinez atop JWT, will be chairman. There was quite a bit of speculation about that one.

Now we can share the memos from those leaders that went out to the new company’s estimated 20,000 employees around the world this morning.

From Tamara Ingram:


I am thrilled to announce that J. Walter Thompson and Wunderman are joining forces to create an exciting, new agency: Wunderman Thompson. I will be Chairman and Wunderman’s current CEO, Mel Edwards, will be the CEO.
This is a careful and deliberate decision, driven by the opportunity to reimagine our future and better serve our clients.

Today, businesses need great ideas, reduced complexity and end-to-end solutions. By bringing Wunderman and Thompson together, we can provide precisely what they are asking for: a creative, data and technology agency built to inspire growth.

This union builds on a history of collaboration across many core clients. As a powerhouse, we will continue to innovate in traditional spaces while exploring new and emerging categories. We will be creative, bold and borderless whilst always putting our people, our clients and their customers first.

As you can imagine, we are working through numerous details and logistics in the coming weeks and months. Nothing has fundamentally changed. It is business as usual and we’ll continue to focus on what we do best: produce great work for our clients.

Mel and I will schedule a series of town halls and other local events where we will invite your questions and share our vision for a strong future together.

If you do have any concerns or questions, please reach out to your leadership team or myself.
All my best,


Edwards’ note was literally identical with the exception of two very slight variations on individual sentences. So the company is already quite tight on the messaging front.

The official WPP press release also has Mark Read saying what we already know: “Clients want greater simplicity from their partners and this development, like others at WPP, is designed to reshape our company around their needs.”

It is very interesting to note that JWT was also the first agency to very publicly announce the elimination of the global chief creative officer position back in March, when Ingram also wrote that things would be “business as usual” after the departure of Matt Eastwood.

*Our sources tell us that this was one of many names considered, and the fact that Wunderman comes first does not imply that it is the more valuable organization. Make of that what you will. For fun, you can always add an F to the end of the acronym.