Continuing a trend it started several years back with the melding of flagship UK agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO with below-the-line shop Proximity, Omnicom Group has created another integrated joint venture encompassing the London offices of DDB and WWAV Rapp Collins.

The move formalizes a longstanding cooperation between the two agencies, prompting some onlookers to question whether the melding of complementary skills under a single banner is merely cosmetic - especially as both shops continue to operate as discrete entities in their own right.

The start-up, branded DDB WWAV Rapp Collins, is recruiting new creative and account-handling staff under managing director Jon Goulding, former WWAV client services director who eighteen months ago became DDB's director of relationship marketing.

Promotional panegyrics were exchanged, as is customary on such occasions. Quoth WWAV Group chief executive Chris Gordon: "The new venture will help grow the WWAV and DDB brands."

Responded Michael Bray, president of DDB Europe: "The new agency fits perfectly with our ethos of co-creation, acknowledging the fact that brand-changing ideas can come from anywhere and that increasingly we need to connect with consumers in a multitude of different ways."

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff