Wunderman Thompson

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IndustryAdvertising, Digital Marketing
FounderLester Wunderman
HeadquartersNew York City, New York
Number of locations
175 offices in 60 countries
Key people
Mel Edwards (Global CEO)
Lester Wunderman (Founder)
Daniel Bonner (Global Chief Creative Officer)[1]
Tamara Ingram (Global Chairman)
Judy Jackson (Global Chief Talent Officer)
Jamie Gutfreund (Chief Marketing Officer)
Diane Holland (Global Chief Financial Officer)
Shane Atchison (CEO North America)
Caspar Schlickum (CEO Asia Pacific)
Juan Pablo Jurado (CEO Latin America)
Becky Chidester (CEO Wunderman Health)
Andrew Rutberg (CEO Wunderman\MSC)
Stephan Pretorius (UK Group CEO and Global CTO)
Jacques van Niekerk (CEO Wunderman Data)
Neil Stewart (CEO Wunderman Commerce)[2]

Wunderman is a global digital agency with 200 offices in 70 markets. Headquartered in New York City, Wunderman is part of Young & Rubicam Brands and a member of international advertising group WPP Group (NASDAQWPPGY).[3] On November 26, 2018, it announced it was merging with the world’s oldest ad agency J. Walter Thompson to form Wunderman Thompson.[4][5]


In 1958, Lester Wunderman, alongside his brother Irving Wunderman, and colleagues Ed Ricotta and Harry Kline, opened Wunderman, Ricotta & Klein (WRK).[6] Founder Lester Wunderman is widely considered,[7] to be the creator of modern-day Direct Marketing—a term he originated in a 1967 speech at MIT.[8]

Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline was acquired by Young & Rubicam in 1973.[9] To reflect the global expansions of the agency alongside then client American Express the agency became Wunderman Worldwide in the 1980s.[10] Since then it has expanded its reach into the interactive, strategic and data-analysis fields.[11]

In 2017 Wunderman and POSSIBLE were merged to form a digital marketing and advertising unit. The POSSIBLE agency brand will remain separate, but will answer into Wunderman. [12]

Notable Work[edit]

In 1961, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) asked Wunderman Ricotta and Kline to become the first direct-mail agency to join its ranks symbolizing the advertising industries acceptance of direct marketing as discipline.[13]

Among the agency’s early innovations are the Columbia Record Club, the 1-800 toll-free number for businesses (developed for a Toyota campaign, the United States Post Office campaign for Mr. ZIP[14] and the ZIP code, and the magazine subscription card.)[15]

A long-time relationship with American Express eventually led to the first customer rewards program—a breakthrough means of keeping customers loyal to a brand that has since transformed the travel and retail industries as well.[15]

In 2002, Wunderman won the inaugural Cannes Lions Direct Grand Prix.[16] Since then numerous members of Wunderman have served on, or acted as Cannes Lions juries chairmen including Daniel Morel and Eco Moliterno.[17][18]

Growth and Acquisitions[edit]

  • Phantasia: In January 2015, Wunderman acquired a majority stake in Phantasia, Peru’s largest and most awarded digital agency.[19]
  • Pierry, Inc.: In September 2017, Wunderman acquired a majority stake in Pierry, Inc. a marketing software integration and solutions company specializing in optimizing campaigns on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.[20]
  • The Cocktail: In June 2017, Wunderman acquired Spanish digital transformation consultancy, The Cocktail.[21]
  • Pmweb: In January 2017, Wunderman acquired a majority stake in Pmweb Comunicação Ltda., a digital marketing specialist in Brazil.[22]
  • 2Sales: In September 2018, Wunderman acquires Amazon-focused content and campaign agency, 2Sales.[23]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ Wunderman
  4. ^ "JWT and Wunderman merged to form 'Wunderman Thompson'". The Drum. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  5. ^ "WPP Will Merge J. Walter Thompson With Wunderman to Form Wunderman Thompson – Adweek". www.adweek.com. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  6. ^ Being Direct: Making Advertising Pay, 2nd Edition, Pages 147-151, 2004, The Direct Marketing Association
  7. ^ Impiric changes its name, WPP Press Centre, June 1, 2001
  8. ^ Being Direct: Making Advertising Pay, 2nd Edition, Pages 171-155, 2004, The Direct Marketing Association
  9. ^ "Wunderman (Wunderman Cato Johnson)". Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  10. ^ Advertising Age, Encyclopedia of Advertising Wunderman (Wunderman Cato Johnson) September 15, 2003
  11. ^ Impiric changes its name, WPP Press Centre, June 1, 2001
  12. ^ AdWeek Reports the merger
  13. ^ Advertising Age, Encyclopedia of Advertising Wunderman (Wunderman Cato Johnson) September 15, 2003
  14. ^ Smithsonian National Postal Museum Mr. ZIP
  15. ^ a b Marketing Legend Lester Wunderman Live on ‘The Alan Levy Show’
  16. ^ Campaign, Harrison Bows Out of HTW by Kate Nettleton, May 24, 2007
  17. ^ Adweek, Daniel Morel, CEO, Wunderman Worldwide, Jury President, Direct Lions, by Kristen Rountree, June 17, 2003
  18. ^ "Eco Moliterno, da Wunderman, será jurado no Festival de NY". Portal Imprensa. Retrieved November 7, 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  19. ^ [3]
  20. ^ [4]
  21. ^ [5]
  22. ^ [6]
  23. ^ [7]