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Pay and Profits Imbalance for Agency Group Chiefs

News, 01 July 2005

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