Kantar buys Colmar Brunton and unifies its ANZ brand

06 February 2020 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read

Within twenty four hours of acquiring counterpart Colmar Brunton, Kantar has announced that it will unify its brands in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) under the single Kantar banner. To lead the integration and branding reshuffle, Rob McLachlan has been appointed as chairman of Kantar ANZ.

The news comes two months after the company was acquired by American private equity giant Bain Capital, which bought a 60% stake in the firm from WPP. The global marketing and advertising network spun-off its Kantar division to add more focus to its strategic plan.

As part of the transaction, Kantar acquired several divisions of WPP including The Oru, Lightspeed, WPP AUNZ Consulting and The Online Research Unit, with all of these practices now absorbed into Kantar.

Together with Colmar Brunton, these brands will in the coming year be rebranded as Kantar, in a move that aims at creating more harmony and internal collaboration.

Commenting on the brand rationalisation, chief executive officer at Kantar Eric Salama, said, “The integration between the teams into Kantar will make us a much stronger partner for our Australian clients. 2019 was a fabulous year in the region, and this announcement ensures a lot more of that to come.”

Kantar unifies brands in ANZ

Speaking of the Colmar Brunton acquisition he said, “We are all delighted to welcome such a talented group of people and experts into Kantar.”

Colmar Brunton specialises in sensory, customer and governmental research, and operates from offices in Auckland and New Zealand.

To ensure that the transformation takes place smoothly across Kantar’s various offices in the region, Rob McLachlan has been named chairman for Kantar ANZ on a one-year assignment. McLachlan was previously chief exective of WPP AUNZ’s Data Investment Management Group, prior to which he was chief financial officer at WPP advertising subsidiary STW Group.

Leading the Colmar Brunton integration are Jon Foged (chief executive of Kantar Australia), Kathy O’Donoghue and Ash Moore (co-CEOs of Kantar Public Australia), Maree Taylor (COO at Colmar Brunton) and Jenny Witham (Chief Client Officer at Colmar Brunton).

Taylor and Witham are expected to land senior roles in Kantar once the transition is complete. Meanwhile, chief executive of Colmar Brunton Joan Young will vacate her position as part of the transition, taking up the role of Global Head of Syndicated Products at Kantar Public, where she will work under the agency’s global chief executive Michelle Harrison.

Kantar has been engaged in consolidated efforts to strengthen its operations since the change in ownership last year. Shortly after the switch, Kantar launched a dedicated analytics practice in Australia, looking to capitalise on the burgeoning demand for data analytics services in the region.