Parkinson will partner Simon Milliship, the creative director of Digital EMEA, and report to Stewart Pearson, the chairman and chief executive of Wunderman EMEA.
The digital division has been set up to create a media-neutral function and ensure that digital capabilities are included within every communications plan.
Parkinson began her career in 1985 as a media planner/buyer at Lovell & Rupert Curtis. She has also worked at Kevin Morley Marketing and Ammirati Puris Lintas, where she was a media director. When APL merged with Lowe, Parkinson became the deputy managing director at Western. She joined Universal McCann in February 2001, but was made redundant six months later.
Last year, she jointly founded an online communications agency, Online Visibility.
Pearson said: "Pru's arrival will allow us to be a key player in the more mature market the online space is settling into after the bursting of the dotcom bubble. She has always championed integrated solutions at all her previous agencies, and, to underline the point, her most recent role has been running her own online communications agency with a raft of blue-chip clients."
Parkinson added: "The Y&R/Wunderman alliance has recognised the significance of the digital revolution to total brand communications, and we now have the opportunity to make a significant leap forward in our understanding and capabilities - and those of our clients - in this area."