Arch-Realist Sorrell Poised to Smile

24 February 2004

WPP Group chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, unalloyed accountant that he is, has reportedly permitted the corners of his mouth to twitch upward momentarily as he contemplates WPP's full year results, due for release later this week.

This is not thought to be a nervous tic.

A report in Sunday newspaper The Observer says that Sorrell will concede in a commentary on WPP results that the three-year advertising recession is finally over. But it is not known whether Sir Martin's cheerier mien is based on a global overview or a closeup of his firm's bottom-line.

The latter is said to look good, The Observer citing Lehman Brothers' estimate that WPP will post pre-tax profits of £454 million ($843.65m; €671.98m) on revenues of £4.04 billion.

Last month Sorrell observed that telecoms, technology and financial services companies had resumed serious adspending. Given that WPP agencies work with over 330 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the dollar trickle-through to WPP might account for Sir Martin's smile.

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