Walter Thompson, the world’s oldest ad agency, has acquired a content marketing capability by joining forces with a PR agency in the WPP group.
The content arm of public relations firm Hill + Knowlton Strategies, Group SJR, will be brought closer together with JWT, and the two groups will share resources to form a division called Colloquial.
The unit aims to build to loyalty and audience over the long term, rather than the short-term campaign approach that ad agencies are known for, and will pump out short articles, infographics and visual stories for brands.
Colloquial will “embody the intersection of advertising, publishing and public relations, with storytelling and creativity at its core,” according to a press release.
It will be led globally by Group SJR boss Alexander Jutkowitz as CEO.
Jutkowitz said: “Not only is that what J. Walter Thompson and Group SJR are doing with the creation of Colloquial, but it’s what we’re going to do for our clients — ensuring they have the ability to continuously reach targeted, ‘always on’ audiences with an array of engaging, high quality content that moves them.”
The unit Colloquial has no presence in Asia yet, but a function is up and running in Melbourne and Sydney, as well as Brazil, Mexico, the UK and the US.
JWT is working on a rollout plan for other Asian markets, said the agency sources
The launch comes five months after JWT launched digital agency network Mirum, dropping the XM Asia brand after 20 years in the market.
“With the creative and strategic rigor of J. Walter Thompson, the creation of our digital agency network Mirum and now the launch of Colloquial, the J. Walter Thompson Company offers the full spectrum of content marketing to clients,” said Stefano Zunino, global head of digital for JWT. “We’re fortunate to have such great talent from across the advertising, public relations and publishing spaces, and know they’ll make a formidable team.”