WPP has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in branding and design agency Made Thought which it will integrate into AKQA, where it will join with previous WPP acquisitions in 2018, Universal Design Studio and Map Project Office, to form The New Standard.
“The partnership will enable each studio to maintain creative independence while facilitating greater collaboration to deliver connected, cross-platform work, harnessing the specialist talent from across all design disciplines,” WPP said in a release.
Founded in 2000 by Paul Austin and Ben Parker, Made Thought employs 55 people across offices in London and New York, the latter of which opened in January 2021. Made Thought works with clients including Pinterest, Unilever, LVMH, MoMA, Sonos, Paul Smith and Rosewood Hotels.
“Bringing Made Thought together with Universal Design Studio and Map Project Office to create The New Standard will further strengthen our position as a creative leader and raise the bar for design that speaks to people across different platforms,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP.
Made Thought co-founders Paul Austin and Ben Parker, speaking about the formation of The New Standard, said: “Creativity is the most important currency for business in the 21st Century and we believe collaboration is the key to bigger, bolder thinking. For us, the coming together with Universal, Map, alongside AKQA, is the best way to see in this new age of design.”