What’s On

JWT and Girl form Melbourne alliance

Following seventeen successful years of operation, the Melbourne-based, independent creative agency Girl (formerly known as Working Girl) is joining forces with J. Walter Thompson, in an alliance set to bolster the expertise and credentials of both agencies.

As part of the alliance, Girl staff will move into the J. Walter Thompson Melbourne offices to work closely with the agency’s team, bringing a raft of specialist fashion, health and retail expertise and experience to the business and its clients.

In turn, J. Walter Thompson will offer Girl’s staff and clients access to a broader network and larger pool of talent, as the agencies work together on joint projects across the retail sector and beyond.

J. Walter Thompson Managing Director, Michael Godwin said of the alliance, “The growth we’ve enjoyed over recent years has been fueled by an ability to tailor our offer around each client’s needs. To do this, you need an office full of people with different backgrounds and skillsets, woven through the agency. Informed by the client need, we’re able to assemble teams consisting of Shopper specialists, Social specialists, Retail specialists, Data Analysts and other discipline ‘experts’, all sitting side by side, collaborating within a single multi-disciplinary agency team.”

Mr Godwin said the alliance was forged due to the skillset offered by the Girl team and its founders Elizabeth Wilmott and Jo Talbot, which perfectly complemented J. Walter Thompson’s approach and its growing retail and fashion market offering.

“Hats off to Elizabeth and Jo – a couple of class acts who’ve run a successful business for almost two decades and have helped build some incredibly successful brands for their clients along the way. Bringing them and the team from Girl into the J. Walter Thompson ‘family’ strengthens our ability to further customise our offer, thanks to their deep experience in certain client sectors, such as Health, Retail and Fashion – sectors that are very important to our business and existing clients such as Terry White Chemmart and Harris Scarfe. Over recent months, we’ve worked together on several client projects, and found that what each party brought to the table was a complementary set of skills. The clear winners have been our clients who benefited from the J. Walter Thompson/Girl union via the delivery of outstanding work, that if either party was working alone, we simply wouldn’t have been capable of,” Mr Godwin added.

Speaking on behalf of the Girl Partners, Ms Wilmott said, “Jo and I are finding that increasingly, clients come to us to provide certain services, but they’re more inclined to give bigger opportunities to larger, better resourced agencies. To access more of these opportunities, we needed more scale. We also felt that having access to a bigger pool of talent would benefit our existing clients, such as Endota, Ezibuy and Lauriston Girls School. We met Michael and the J. Walter Thompson team around a year ago now and began the process of exploring whether we were right for each other. Beyond providing scale, we wanted to join forces with an agency that we felt to be culturally aligned; to share a similar ambition for the type of enduring client partnerships we seek to foster; and one we could help through our experience across particular client sectors, and vice versa. After a year of ‘dating’, we’re confident we’ve found that partner in J. Walter Thompson.”

As part of the alliance, Girl will retain its separate branding but operate within the agency as part of the team according to client demand.

J. Walter Thompson is part of WPP AUNZ.