Stagwell inks agreement to acquire WHAT’S NEXT PARTNERS (WNP)

WNP will be first in series of planned acquisitions for The Anomaly Alliance as Stagwell expands throughout Europe and beyond

Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing, has reached an agreement to acquire WHAT’S NEXT PARTNERS (WNP), a French digital brand and marketing consultancy specializing in data-powered strategies, integrated communications, and creative content.

WNP will become the first co-branded member of the Anomaly Alliance in a partnership model designed to expand Anomaly’s global footprint beyond its existing offices in New YorkLos AngelesTorontoLondonBerlin, and Shanghai.

WNP is one of the leading digital creative firms in Europe, exemplified in its work for clients such as Cora, Danone, Ecoutier Voir, Meetic Europe, and Savencia. WNP will deepen Anomaly’s presence in Europe and add capabilities in scaled digital content and AI-enabled CRM and data, as well as the leadership in-market to compete for and service larger European accounts.

“Anomaly continues to surge around the world because clients resonate with our relentless pursuit of effectiveness, the leveraging of the widest possible meaning of ‘creativity’ across all marketing tools, and our entrepreneurial ambition. That equation is not easily replicable and, as we expand across continents, it’s essential our clients know our partners exemplify what it means to be an anomaly,” said Carl Johnson, Anomaly Founding Partner and Executive Chairman. “In What’s Next Partners, we have found kindred spirits in Europe, and I could not be more excited to welcome them to our team.”

Guy Chauvel, Founder and CEO of WNP, brings an exceptional track record of creative leadership to the partnership, with prior tenures as EVP of J. W. T., the 3rd largest global agency, and CEO of Europe at Havas. He has directly advised on marketing and/or communication strategies for a variety of blue-chip companies including P&G, L’Oréal, Unilever, Rolex, Disney, and more.  He will drive the creation of new client solutions for WNP and the Anomaly Alliance with Carl Johnson, leveraging the breadth and depth of the Stagwell portfolio.

“Advertisers we are talking to or working with are pushing us to go international. We have always kept a close eye on Anomaly over the past 15 years as a source of inspiration and are fascinated by their model and culture,” said Guy Chauvel. “When the decision came to choose our new partner, Anomaly was the obvious choice. I am thrilled they agreed. We were also very impressed when meeting a committed, open-minded, and disruptive Stagwell executive team, and are excited to grow further as part of the network.”

“2023’s exceptional new business pipeline made it clear Stagwell’s proposition resonates with clients,” added Mark Penn, Chairman and CEO, Stagwell. “We’re all-in on expanding our unique tech-forward approach to transforming marketing in France and Europe more broadly. In 2024, we’re excited to welcome tested leaders like WNP and Guy and to build a best-in-class European team to support our clients and our talent.”

Currently, Anomaly has offices in New YorkLos AngelesTorontoLondonBerlin and Shanghai. Further acquisitions for the Anomaly Alliance will follow ranging from Latin America to Asia Pacific.

WNP will mark Stagwell’s third acquisition announced in 2024 following the purchase of Team Epiphany, a culturalist creative agency connecting brands to multicultural consumers, in January 2024; and Sidekick, a creative collective in the U.K., in February 2024.

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