Stephan Allan

Reports from our company leaders


Stephan Allan

Report by Stephen Allan
Worldwide chairman and chief executive officer


ooking back at 2016, we are delighted with how we responded to our challenges and grew stronger.

Our loss of Volkswagen Group after 19 successful years was well documented, but it’s our fightback that deserves more attention. Since the decision, we have regrouped, refocused, and refreshed our Content + Connections offering to deliver excellent new business results.

In total, we have recorded wins worth more than $2 billion in less than a year, with major successes in every market (and the pitch pipeline is still full). Most recently, we won Walgreens and Duane Reade in the US, and Boots in the UK as part of a wider WPP solution for Walgreens Boots Alliance through Team WBA – and there are further international opportunities ahead.

We have regrouped, refocused, and refreshed our Content + Connections offering to deliver excellent new business results

In North America, we also welcomed FanDuel, Electrolux, PhRMA and WholeFoods to the agency, while EMEA-specific highlights include winning IKEA in Germany and British Gas in the UK. In Latin America, we won Pfizer in Mexico and extended our relationship with P&G across its LADMAR region.

We grew our P&G relationship in China too, and also added Uber in that market. Elsewhere in Asia Pacific, we retained Vinamilk in Vietnam, and won Unilab in the Philippines and Agoda in Indonesia. Buoyed by these successes, we have since opened new offices in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to extend our influence in the region.

Powered by our ‘Systems Thinking’ philosophy, we continued to deliver best-in-class work, winning more than 240 awards. These included 12 Cannes Lions for P&G, Deutsche Telekom, Fonterra and Mars, 11 trophies at the Festival of Media Global Awards and 12 at the M&M Global Awards, including Agency of the Year.

This strong performance means we remain second in RECMA’s Network Diagnostics Report, which measures overall agency quality. This is a wonderful achievement, made possible thanks to the continued dedication of our people.

Building on this momentum, we have relaunched our operating system, 20|20 Connections, to take full advantage of GroupM’s [m]PLATFORM, which uses a database of more than 1.5 billion individual IDs. This will help our teams serve increasingly personalised messages to consumers and deliver even greater efficiencies for our clients.