Pay packages for the bosses of the world's biggest marketing services groups have surged ahead of company profits, reports UK-based analyst Marketing Services Financial Intelligence

The report cites the remuneration package of WPP Group ceo Sir Martin Sorrell, which soared 126% between 2001 and 2004, whereas the firm's profits rose a mere 7.8% during the same period. Sorrell earned $5 million (€4.1m; £2.7m) last year. His basic salary was $1.5m.

At world leader Omnicom, ceo John Wren received $5.2m, a rise of 137% on profit growth of 43.8%. Of that package the greater part, $4m, was paid as a bonus - a common practice among US companies where executives are expected to make it before taking it.

French-owned network Publicis Groupe rewarded chairman Maurice Levy with $3.9m last year, a rise of 107.5%, while the business's profits rose by 22.2% across the four year period.

In contrast, the recently ousted head of French group Havas, Alain de Pouzilhac, saw his remuneration increase by 73.5% to $3.4m over the same term, well below profits growth - although the latter was inflated by the group's loss in 2001.

No figures were available for Interpublic or Dentsu.

Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff