GroupM names first global president of commerce

Andrew Ruegger has been tasked with scaling the agency's commerce-focused products and services for clients.
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GroupM has promoted Andrew Ruegger to global president of GroupM Commerce, a newly-created role where he will scale commerce-focused products and services for clients.

“This is something the organization has been thinking about for a long time,” Ruegger tells MiC, noting that while the agency has been handling media planning for commerce-centric clients for some time, the pandemic fuelled explosion of activity in the retail, ecommerce and DTC categories. That, alongside Amazon’s dominance in the online marketplace and its “considerable push into advertising,” forced GroupM to rethink and restructure how it should be positioning its media efforts in the ecommerce landscape sooner rather than later.

GroupM reported a 277% increase in e-commerce channel retail sales for CPG manufacturers in Q2 2020 alone, according to its own ecommerce forecasts.

Ruegger mentions the need to look at retailers as publishers now, with “a number of clients coming to us to solve upstream problems like supply and pricing, both on the media side, as well as the distribution partnership side.”

With GroupM’s global agency network and various capabilities across the board, Reugger says, “it made sense for us to have a key point of contact in the middle to help arrange these capabilities with a more strategic direction to bring a best-in-class commerce media strategy solution.”

Ruegger was previously a managing partner and executive director of ecommerce, data science and technology for GroupM. He will be focused on realizing and managing data-driven opportunities in expanding retail marketplaces and DTC efforts, as well as leading the agency’s collaboration in WPP workstreams across the commerce vertical.