Kantar announces strategic steps to scale client impact in Australia

04 February 2020

Kantar, the world’s leading research and consulting company, today announced a number of steps to increase its ability to “understand people and inspire growth” for its clients in Australia. These steps follow Kantar’s acquisition of WPPAUNZ’s Data Investment Management division as part of its December 2019 spin-off from WPP.

Colmar Brunton, one of Australia’s leading research companies and a world leader in sensory, customer and governmental research, will be fully integrated into Kantar. Teams have been working to understand the complimentary nature of the offers and talent pools. In the coming months, a transition team consisting of Jon Foged, Kathy O’Donoghue, Ash Moore, Maree Taylor and Jenny Witham will integrate the teams and ensure that clients get the best of Kantar in the region, and that Kantar globally benefits from Colmar Brunton’ expertise. The Colmar Brunton brand in Australia will be retired during the year. Maree Taylor and Jenny Witham will take on senior roles within Kantar’s Insights division. Colmar Brunton in New Zealand is a separate legal entity and is unaffected by these changes.

The other businesses which formed part of WPPAUNZs Data Investment Management division; panel specialists The Oru and Lightspeed and consulting companies Kantar Consulting and WPPAUNZ Consulting will also come into Kantar.

Eric Salama, CEO of Kantar, said “We are all delighted to welcome such a talented group of people and experts into Kantar. The integration of Colmar Brunton and the addition of The Oru and Consulting expertise and teams and that of other teams into Kantar will make us a much stronger partner for our Australian clients. Kantar is unique in being able to answer the ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions of consumer behaviour, and these moves further enhance our capabilities. 2019 was a fabulous year in the region, and today’s announcement ensures a lot more of that to come. What’s more there are a number of areas where we will be able to export ideas, approaches and ways of working to other parts of the world for the benefits of clients.”

Joan Young, Colmar Brunton CEO, will, with immediate effect, relinquish her existing role and become Global Head of Syndicated Products for Kantar’s Public division with the goal of scaling Colmar’s current syndicated offer globally. She will report into Michelle Harrison, the global CEO of the division.

Rob McLachlan, previously of WPPAUNZ, will take on a one-year assignment as Chairman to help the integration process with a particular emphasis on financial, IT, HR systems and real estate.

All other management teams remain unchanged in the region with reporting lines switching from WPPAUNZ into global divisional and functional leads at Kantar.