MediaCom to move into old FT building as WPP builds South Bank campus

VMLY&R is also expected to move to South Bank as WPP creates three nearby buildings by river.

FT: previous headquarters being refurbished by WPP
FT: previous headquarters being refurbished by WPP

MediaCom is expected to relocate to the former Financial Times headquarters as part of WPP’s plan to create three London campus buildings on the South Bank.

Multiple sources have told Campaign that MediaCom, currently based in Holborn, would move to the building, on 1 Southwark Bridge, after renovation works are completed.

WPP’s long-term global plan is to bring all of its agencies into campus buildings to encourage cross-agency working and enable co-location with clients. It has already unveiled campuses in India, Amsterdam, Paris and Manchester.

In London, the company wants to move its major media and creative agencies into three buildings on the South Bank: Sea Containers House (currently home to Ogilvy, Wavemaker and head office); the former FT building and Rose Court. 

WPP told Campaign that it is too early to say which agencies would move into the two new buildings, but multiple sources have said MediaCom is expected to move into the former FT building. The newspaper moved into Bracken House, its former home in the City of London, in May.

Meanwhile, sources said VMLY&R is expected to move to Rose Court on Southwark Bridge Road, having just last month relocated from Greater London House in Camden to Percy Street in Fitzrovia (formerly occupied by Publicis Groupe’s Zenith).

It is less clear how quickly agencies would move into Rose Court – sources’ estimates varied between 18 months and two years, while a WPP spokesman said the new buildings will come on stream "in a few years’ time". The 12-floor building only received planning permission for an extensive refurbishment in April.  

WPP’s chief executive, Mark Read, has set out to restructure the company after succeeding Sir Martin Sorrell last year. He has merged VML and Y&R, as well as Wunderman and J Walter Thompson.

Wunderman Thompson now occupies all of WPP’s office space at Greater London House, while digital agency Mirum (part of Wunderman Thompson and formerly part of JWT) is moving into the Percy Street building alongside VMLY&R this month, leaving JWT’s Knightsbridge office.

WPP would not comment on where Wunderman Thompson would eventually relocate to, or other Group M agencies such as Essence (Oxford Street) or Mindshare (Central Saint Giles, Bloombury).

The WPP spokesman said: "As is well-known, part of our strategy is to bring our agencies together in modern campus locations around the world, such as Sea Containers on the South Bank, to give our people the best possible working environments.

"The new campus buildings in London are in development and will come on stream in a few years’ time. Occupancy is yet to be determined."

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