The advertising industry should enjoy a healthy year, according to WPP Group boss, Sir Martin Sorrell.

Sorrell has long held that this June's Euro 2004 soccer tournament, the Olympic Games and the US Elections will have a beneficial effect.

Furthermore, he thinks it unlikely there will be any overspill from Iraq which could affect business or consumer confidence in the US and Europe.

Sorrell feels the US public is currently more concerned about the domestic economy than events in the Middle East. "As an independent observer it seems to me the US public do not regard that as being an issue -- it hasn't reached Vietnamese proportions yet."

He regards the recently enlarged European Union as beneficial, although thinks its effects will be limited. "The issues in the EU are lack of growth, population decline, pensions, healthcare costs - that's the key. So enlargement helps with that. But these are small countries adding very little in terms of GNP."

The EU also needs to change its employment structure and be more flexible if it is to compete effectively with the US and Asia where WPP sees growth opportunities.

Clearly the ever-acquisitive Sorrell doesn't wish to have his fingers burnt by any sudden downturn. He has ruled out any major acquisitions.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff