Kansas City’s VML merging with Young & Rubicam

Corrected Sept. 30 at 10:30 a.m.

VML, the largest advertising and digital marketing firm in Kansas City, is merging with Young & Rubicam, another global marketing and advertising agency, to form a firm that will employ 7,000 people worldwide.

Jon Cook, chief executive of VML, will lead the new firm, called VMLY&R.

Both VML and Young & Rubicam are owned by WPP, a London-based holding company for advertising and public relations firms. The move comes as WPP’s more established firms, like Young & Rubicam, have struggled to keep pace with the growth of more digitally focused firms, like VML.

VML has about 900 employees in Kansas City and works for clients including Ford, Gatorade, Kraft-Heinz and Wendy’s.

John Valentine, Scott McCormick and Crag Ligibel started the firm in 1992, and its name bears their initials.

Read more: Kansas City Star


Correction – This story was updated to change an incorrect spelling of VMLY&R’s name in an earlier version of the story.

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