In the role, Bird will be tasked with leading a global commerce practice employing elements of ecommerce, relationship marketing and connected retail across all major markets. The agency’s practice is currently working with brands including General Mills, Hershey’s, Office Depot and United Rentals in the U.S.
Bird joined Y&R as global managing director of retail marketing division Labstore in 2014 and was promoted to executive director, global retail and shopper marketing for Y&R two years later. Before joining the agency, Bird served as director of retail marketing for M&C Saatchi, and CEO and executive chairman for IdeaWorks.
“Jon has an unparalleled talent for identifying trends and uncovering insights in the retail sector,” Jon Cook, who was named global CEO for VMLY&R when WPP merged VML and Y&R back in September, said in a statement. “Commerce is increasingly digital and global, and Jon’s keen perspective and holistic outlook of today’s commerce and retail landscape will be invaluable to our clients and partners.”
Bird will work alongside Lauren Miller, who serves as managing director of the commerce practice, as well as directing specialist commerce strategists focusing on areas including automotive, CPG and health. Miller previously served as group director, strategy and insights for VML. She joined VML at the beginning of 2017, following nearly five years at Rockfish, including over three and a half years as vice president, strategy.