LONDON/WASHINGTON: The chief executives of the major agency holding groups may be among the best-placed observers to forecast when the recession will end, but their predictions can perhaps not always be taken at face value, says WARC's regular columnist, Tummler.

When reporting their most recent quarterly results, Omnicom's ceo, John Wren, and Maurice Lévy, his counterpart at Publicis, both cautiously opined that the advertising slowdown may finally have reached its lowest point.

Sir Martin Sorrell, the founder and chief executive of WPP Group, famously described the downturn early in this millennium as being "bath-shaped", and he has similarly predicted that the current crisis may ultimately take the form of an "italic-L".

These adland heavyweights are particularly well-informed about the intricacies of the current economic situation, due, in the first instance, to the sizeable in-house research teams at their command.

Even more importantly, they take unique "daily communion with a real-time, real life marketplace barometer – their clients," Tummler argues.

However, it may equally be, he suggests, that their pronouncements are based on motives more closely related to self-promotion, an attempt to talk-up the market as a whole, or even an effort to mask the short-comings of their own companies.

To read Tummler's latest column in full, please click here.

Data sourced from WARC; additional content by WARC staff