WPP Group’s Red Cell to Reorganize

NEW YORK WPP Group’s Red Cell network is being restructured into an entity that would contain far fewer than the estimated 50 agencies that currently comprise the organization, sources said.

Under the working moniker Red Cell United, the new entity would include Berlin Cameron/Red Cell in New York, Cole & Weber/Red Cell in Seattle and Red Cell agencies in London and Paris, as well as in Madrid, Spain, Milan, Italy, and Oslo, Norway, sources said.

Red Cell agencies in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Brussels, Belgium, may also be included, as could WPP shop The Campaign Palace in Sydney, Australia.

A source said the impending move reflects WPP’s desire to strengthen Red Cell, which it believes has not been a strong, viable global network in terms of strategic and creative capabilities.

The consortium would report to Red Cell worldwide CEO Andy Berlin, who is based in New York, sources said. The name Red Cell United would likely change, but that’s how WPP insiders refer to it.

Berlin could not be reached for comment, nor could a WPP representative or executives at the agencies under consideration.

Sources said local agency names would probably remain, but with the United moniker attached.

The remaining offices now in the Red Cell network would probably be absorbed into other WPP agencies such as JWT, Young & Rubicam, Grey and Ogilvy & Mather, but that would depend on potential client conflicts and other factors, sources said.

The 7-10 offices that would comprise the core share “the same strategic and creative values,” one source said. The final number of shops has not been determined. (The two U.S. entities have not worked together, but that would change as the structure of the new entity takes shape, sources said.)

The reorganization could be completed by October, sources said.

This story updates a prevously posted item with additional details of the reorganization.