WPP Takes up Eco-Challenge

28 June 2007

LONDON: With climate-change superstar Al Gore playing to a packed house at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival on its closing night, WPP Group elsewhere staged its own green extravaganza and pledged to substantially reduce its carbon footprint by 2011.

Chairman Philip Lader preached to the company's annual meeting that while WPP's impact on the global environment was "not, relatively, a huge amount", he believed every business had a role to play in ameliorating the effects of pollution on the planet.

So, WPP plans to neutralise the annual 260,000 tonnes of CO2 it belches out via energy use and business travel by buying carbon offsets.

But Lader acknowledged that this strategy "is no substitute for a well thought through and executed plan to reduce corporate carbon emissions in the first place."

Returning to more familiar ground, Lader reported that advertising and media investment management revenue had climbed almost 6% during the first five months of 2007, while PR and public affairs income rose by 14%.

Revenue growth was strong (on a constant currency basis) across all regions for the first part of the year, with the notable exception of the UK where growth was just 3%.

The US was up by 8%, Europe by 6%, and Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa by more than 11%.

Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff