WPP’s Sorrell Recalibrates Ad : Marketing Revenue Ratios

21 January 2003

WPP Group is to refocus its global business-building efforts on the marketing services sector in a bid to boost this from its current contribution of 55% of group revenues to around two-thirds within five years. Traditional advertising generates the balance of income.

Chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell outlined his new strategy in an interview with French business daily La Tribune. He also told the newspaper that WPP planned to spread the risk of prolonged global recession by realigning its focus from the USA to other world regions.

Currently, 45% of WPP's sales accrue from activities stateside, 33% from Europe and 22% from elsewhere on the globe. Sir Martin aims to rebalance these ratios over the next five to ten years.

He also indicated an interest in acquiring a stake in a UK television company when the British government liberalizes its media ownership rules later this year. Such a move, Sir Martin told La Tribune, would dovetail neatly with WPP’s strategy of developing non-traditional advertising projects.

Such a move, however, would almost certainly be opposed by other agency groups and fall foul of the Office of Fair Trading. But Sir Martin is never averse to attracting the headlines, even with such an improbable scenario!

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