The Essence of media: people, data and automation together

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We have created a culture that looks more like a technology company or a data company than maybe some of the things that you have seen from traditional agencies," Christian Juhl, global chief executive of Essence, says.

"We recruit from different institutions. We recruit from different practices. We train in a very different way. We have some incentives that are a little bit different than the rest, which has been a problem occasionally at WPP."

Juhl, who says "I prefer T-shirts and sneakers to suits and ties", was speaking at WPP’s investor day in December, where he explained how the 1,800-strong media agency began life in London as a digital start-up in 2005 and counts Google as its biggest client.

"Our mission is to make advertising more valuable to the world," he said. "It’s about bringing connections much closer between brands and consumers. It’s about getting rid of things you hear about like fraud. It’s about using data, technology and analytics to identify where those [connection] points can come together, so we can make real ‘brand experiences’ on behalf of our customers."

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