WPP's GTB to cut staff after hiring EY for consulting help

The job cuts will be less than 2 percent of the group's global staff.

WPP’s Global Team Blue (GTB) hired EY to help the global Ford agency figure out its structure going forward, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The agency is expected to reduce its staff in North America, Latin America and Canada later this week by about 2 percent. GTB employs more than 3,000 people across six continents in 84 markets. 

It was not immediately clear whether GTB's work with EY is wrapped up or ongoing.

"GTB has been working with Ford Motor Company on its future marketing model and will lead all media planning and buying, digital and production work," said a GTB spokesperson via email. "Responsibilities also include Tier II advertising work in the U.S., the China advertising operations with its joint venture partner, Lincoln advertising, and all the Ford public relations business."

The statement adds: "As the support model is evolving, some reductions to staffing will occur. The size and the timing of the staffing reductions will vary from market to market. GTB is leveraging WPP’s global agency network and regional agency partners to limit the impact and support those affected."

As a trusted global communications partner, GTB is committed to delivering extraordinary consumer impact for brands through creative content, data, and technology.Representatives from GTB declined to comment on its recent work with EY, and EY spokespeople were not immediately available for comment.

The GTB news follows on the heels of Ford – WPP’s largest client - hiring Omnicom Group's BBDO to lead its global, omnichannel creative business. WPP retained the activation portion of the business, which includes pieces like media, production, CRM and digital.

In 2016, WPP rebranded its Team Detroit, Blue Hive, and Retail First operations, all of which were created to work for Ford, under a single global identity called Global Team Blue or GTB. Team Detroit was set up in 2007.

Earlier today, WPP appointed Publicis Groupe's Laurent Ezekiel to the newly created role of chief marketing and growth officer. The holding company has also been busy undergoing a series of agency mergers, including VML with Y&R and Wunderman with JWT.

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