Stagwell reaches an agreement to acquire WHAT'S NEXT PARTNERS, a French digital brand and marketing consultancy. WNP will become the first co-branded member of Stagwell’s Anomaly Alliance in a partnership model designed to expand Anomaly's global footprint beyond its existing offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Berlin and Shanghai. The acquisition of WNP is intended to 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. WNP founder and CEO Guy Chauvel, who previously served as EVP of J.W.T. and CEO of Europe at Havas, will drive the creation of new client solutions for WNP and the Anomaly Alliance alongside Anomaly founding partner and executive chairman Carl Johnson. "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," said Johnson.


A recent survey from D S Simon Media found that an overwhelming majority (82 percent) of 61 PR pros said they look at the election year as either an opportunity or a challenge for their media relations plans, but only 26 percent say they plan to change their tactics or media strategy in response. “There’s clearly a disconnect,” says D S Simon Media CEO Doug Simon. “Given the high level of recognition that the media landscape has changed, we’d expect a similar level of respondents would be changing their strategy. That isn’t happening.” Out of those who are re-tooling their tactics, 14 percent say they are giving up, but 57 percent say they plan to adjust by shifting their focus from network and cable television to local TV news, 64 percent are upping their use of social media, and 71 percent are focusing on digital opportunities. Simon says that an increased emphasis on local TV news can actually help PR pros escape the wall-to-well election coverage, with only nine percent of programming on those stations being taken up by political news. “We are hearing that these stations are focusing on news viewers can use,” Simon said. “Producers recognize if viewers want politics, they can tune in to the cable network aligned with their views.”

Cathy Planchard
Cathy Planchard

Allison launches Allison AI, an integrated suite of products and consulting services focused on securely and responsibly leveraging AI for their clients’ business needs. Allison AI’s initial external and internal services span three categories: advisory and consulting, training and products. The suite of products was developed by a team led by Allison global CEO of marketing innovation Cathy Planchard along with agency partners Karyn Barr, president, technology and Brent Diggins, managing director, performance and intelligence. “We’re proud to be ahead of the curve as an agency and offer a team of experts, a menu of services and a line of AI products that, together, represent how marketing and communications can be accelerated by the awesome capability of AI,” said Planchard. The Allison AI suite is available now to clients and agency partners. Additional products are slated for release later this year.