WPP acquires contract publisher Forward

WPP has acquired the contract publishing company Forward


Forward, which is positioned at the higher end of the customer

communications market, was founded in 1986 and has a turnover of £23.6 million. In the past it has worked closely with M&C Saatchi as part

of its village of agencies.

The company was launched by the chairman, William Sieghart, and Neil

Mendoza, the chief executive. It aims to combine high-quality design

with planning and customer communications skills.

Forward's existing clients include Tesco, for which the publisher

produces its Tesco Clubcard magazine and other loyalty programmes, Patek

Philippe, Nasdaq, British Airways Holidays, BT, Egg and Halifax.

Forward employs 108 people and prints 88 million magazines a year. It

will operate as part of WPP's Specialist Communications division as WPP

bids to build a comprehensive blend of services for clients.

Martin Sorrell, WPP group's chief executive, said: "The company's

(Forward's) proven ability to provide the emotional side of the customer

relationship process will add considerably to the services our group can

offer to our clients."

Forward's current management team will continue to run the company.

Sarah Wyse, the managing director of Forward, said: "We are proud that

Forward has achieved so much in 15 years and WPP now presents unlimited

opportunities for our business.

"In the past we have been limited by our UK base as we were unable to

service US-based business - suddenly, all those restrictions have


Outside the UK, Forward publishes the Patek Philippe magazine in seven

languages across 137 countries.