Martin Sorrell’s toughest challenge

MUMBAI: The toughest challenge is to retain people after making the acquisition as they don’t want to be where they have ended up, said the founder of the world’s largest advertising agency who has gobbled up many rivals over the years.

Citing the acquisitions of Ogilvy, Grey and Y&R, Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO of WPP, said it is “difficult for rivals to come together.”
In an interview given to Bloomberg Businessweek, Sorrell observed: “The mindset shifts with the second generation, but until then it‘s a challenge. We can‘t be a collection of businesses. Clients expect us to connect the dots. The task is to get every one of the 140,000 people here to know what the other 139,999 are doing.”

Sorrell spoke on issues related to building his business, firing employees, and bringing together the company after acquisitions.
Sorrell asserted that advertising and communications is a “people business” and “people are cyclical, and partners in a business can change—especially when they become wealthy.”

Elaborating further, the wise man of the ad world said: “We spend about $9 billion annually on people, but we don‘t spend enough time evaluating that investment. The conventional wisdom in our business is if you need people, you poach them. The industry will not survive long term unless we change this attitude.”

So how did Sorrell build his empire? In 1985, he left Saatchi and invested in a small public company called WPP, eventually becoming chief executive officer.
“ You might say my decision to leave was a form of male menopause. At 40, I hadn‘t started my own business so this felt like the last chance,” Sorrell said.

About 18 months later, Sorrell purchased J. Walter Thompson, an advertising company 13 times the size of his business. “It was a hostile takeover. We paid $525 million. It was a no-brainer: I didn‘t have much, so I had nothing to lose,” he recollected.

Sorrell fears that the successor may not share his attachment to WPP. “A founder has a different business perspective. WPP is highly personal to me. I‘ve watched the bricks being put in the wall. Whoever does my job in the future will not do it the same way. I‘m not saying they‘ll do it worse, but they won‘t have the same emotional attachment I‘ve had,” he mused.

Latest Reads
Multi-media ad campaign to popularise gold coin

A year after it was first launched, a multimedia advertising campaign is being launched to drive awareness around Diwali on the availability of the Indian gold coin by the Mines and Minerals Trading Corporation along with World Gold Council. Being launched this week, the campaign will cover...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Vizeum launches Binary, special advisory unit for media clients

“Media business is, in the short term, headed for a tipping point, driven by the changing consumer-media interface,” emphasises Vizeum India MD Shripad Kulkarni, who strongly believes that media companies need a definitive transformation strategy in place now.

MAM Media and Advertising Media Agencies
Havas Media bags Rs 15-cr Sujata account

MUMBAI: Havas Media Group India has bagged the integrated media duties of Sujata, an Indian Consumer Electronics & Home Appliances brand for Juicer Mixer Grinders. The incumbent on the business was Exposure Media. The account will be handled out of Gurgaon office led by Uday Mohan. The...

MAM Media and Advertising Account
TV festive ad spend to reach Rs 8000 cr; experts divided

MUMBAI: The festive months of October and November are welcome months not just for you and your family, but for most Indian brands as well. After all, they eagerly wait for this early window when consumers loosen up their purse strings and put their Diwali bonuses to good use, aka, shopping.

MAM Marketing MAM
Amagi partners with BARC India to offer monitoring of geo-targeted TV ad-campaigns

Amagi Media Labs has entered into a partnership agreement with India’s apex television viewership monitoring body BARC India to help advertisers monitor geo-targeted ad-campaigns of brands across TV channels.

MAM Media and Advertising AD Agencies
iProspect conceptualises unique digital video for ICICI two-wheeler insurance

iProspect India has conceptualized and executed a unique digital video for ICICI Lombard General Insurance in their latest campaign on two-wheeler insurance.

MAM Media and Advertising AD Agencies
eBay engages consumer with live game on FB

MUMBAI: Festive season is a busy time for Indian brands, especially the e-commerce players given the shopping spree the nation witnessed around the time. Thus it becomes important to brainstorm on new and unique ways to get the consumer’s attention; something different from the unbelievable...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Culture Machine & Quaker Oats aim to feed kids

As the festive mood gathers spirit in the country, Culture Machine’s digital channel Being Indian, in collaboration with Quaker Oats, have released a new campaign. Titled "Ek Muthi Sonu ke Naam", the video urges people to pause and spare a thought to the millions of children who go hungry.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
BTVi unveils new brand positioning

BTVi has unveiled its new positioning, #OpinionsThatCount, aimed at impacting the opinions of the influencers. With this, BTVi will be the voice and choice of the influential. An integrated campaign will be launched primarily catering to influencers, key decision makers and opinion makers.

MAM Media and Advertising People

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories