VML Expands with Addition of Rockfish Unit

By Erik Oster 

VML is expanding with the addition of Rockfish Digital, which will now function as a unit within VML known as Rockfish.

Rockfish Digital was founded in 2005 and has offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Northwest Arkansas. The agency counts Walmart, Southwest Airlines, Mars and MetroPCS among its client roster.

While the merger takes effect immediately, the company will “use the remainder of 2017 to finalize integration to allow for a seamless start to 2018,” according to a press release.

“VML has always been about making an impact across the entire connected consumer experience – from point of inspiration to engagement to long-term consumer relationship,” VML global CEO Jon Cook said in a statement. “Rockfish plays across all of that, but also brings an unmatched depth and best-in-class experience to digital innovation, ecommerce and modern loyalty solutions. Extending this expertise into VML will allow us the opportunity to offer a truly reimagined relevance to the lead agency model.”

“Just as important as our shared passion and entrepreneurial spirit surrounding our businesses, we share a commitment and focus on creating incredibly strong cultures for our team members across the world,” he added. “I could not be more excited for everyone at Rockfish to become a part of our VML family.”

As a result of the deal, Rockfish CEO Michael Stich and Rockfish president and chief strategy officer Dawn Maire will become part of the VML executive leadership team.

“Rockfish has a history of transforming brands through digital innovations and productive disruption,” Stich said in a statement. “We look forward to realizing this further through our integration with VML. Together, we can create new models and value for brands that reinvent the connected consumer experience.”

With the addition of Rockfish, VML now has over 3,000 employees in 33 locations.

“With Rockfish becoming part of VML, the enlarged VML becomes an even more comprehensive offer covering the entire consumer journey,” WPP founder and CEO Sir Martin Sorrell, said in a statement. “It aligns two of WPP’s best performing and most accomplished agencies to create a highly relevant offering to lead clients through an increasingly complex and fragmented marketing environment.”