WPP Switches Growth Emphasis Below-the-Line

03 March 2003

Public relations and marketing services will be the focus of future growth at WPP Group, the world’s largest agency holding company.

In the wake of a 2002 profits decline of 19% - or if you believe UK newspaper The Guardian a sizeable loss had Sir Martin Sorrell adopted UK accounting guidelines [WAMN: 25-Feb-03] – WPP last week outlined plans to expand its non-advertising activities.

Already, PR and marketing services comprise the greater part of WPP’s activity, generating 53% of revenues despite a decline of 8% in public relations income revealed in the 2002 accounts. But Manhattan-based vp of PR and public affairs Howard Paster insists: “The opportunities for PR are still there.”

WPP says it will pursue a strategy to boost PR and other below-the-line enterprises to 67% of all WPP revenues in the long term. The group, however, did not attach a concrete date to this objective.

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