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Posts Tagged ‘Martin Sorrell’

Roll Call: MSLGroup, H+K Strategies, Netflix, and More

Renee Wilson, MD of MSLGroup‘s New York office and lead on the firm’s P&G business, and Bob Bejan, founder of MSL’s creative studio PBJS, have been appointed to the firm’s global management board, effective February 1. (Both pictured left, top to bottom.) Wilson will now be chief client officer based in New York and Bejan, chief development officer, based in Paris. Wilson is transitioning her MD duties to a new exec that hasn’t yet been named. Jenny Pigott will become CEO of PBJS and Ian Saunders will be president and chief creative officer for PBJS in Chicago, Seattle, and New York.

Netflix CMO Leslie Kilgore has been appointed to the company’s board as a non-executive director. She’s held the CMO role for 12 years. Jessie Becker, previously VP of marketing and an 11-year vet of the company, has been named interim CMO. Jonathan Friedland has been appointed chief comms officer. He joined the company last February from Disney. The company is seeking a new CMO. [via]

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Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Survey: Business Is Up To Start 2012

Worldcom Public Relations Group, the international network of independent firms, has conducted a survey of its members (independent firms), finding that new business is trending upward in the new year.

More than 100 respondents (Worldcom has 107 member firms in 46 countries) from all regions around the world participated in the poll. Firms polled work with clients of all sizes. The survey was conducted in December 2011.

The research found that about two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents were reporting better business results for the beginning of 2012 versus 2011. And 76 percent said they have hired or plan to hire in Q1 2012 to manage the new business that has been rolling in. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) also said that the end of 2011 experienced a spike in business.

Is this what you’re seeing? After the jump, to add another voice to the conversation, we have a clip of WPP head Martin Sorrell talking to Bloomberg from CES about the prospects for this year; with the election, the Olympics, and other events, he thinks 2012 looks better than 2013, with expectations for four percent growth.

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WPP Reports 5.8 Percent Growth in PR and Public Affairs Revenue

WPP today announced its interim results for the six months ending June 30, 2011, with PR and public affairs showing 5.8 percent constant currency revenue growth and five percent like-for-like revenue growth. WPP PR firms include Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, and Ogilvy PR.

PR and public affairs accounted for 9.1 percent of the revenue for the total group.

Overall billings were up 5.2 percent to about £21.4 billion (about $35.2 billion, according to today’s exchange rate) with reported revenue up 6.1 percent to £4.7 billion (about $7.7 million).

The U.S. and North America made a strong showing in the first six months, accounting for 35.6 percent of the company’s total revenue. Other geographic regions around the world also showed strong growth with challenges noted in Austria, Germany, Finland, and other parts of Europe. For more detail about the earnings report, click here.

Despite the growth, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell still warned of economic stumbling blocks in 2012.

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WPP’s Sorrell Supports Paywalls

martin sorrell.jpg WPP CEO Martin Sorrell spoke with the UK’s MediaWeek about the necessity of paywalls for online media.

“We think paywalls are essential,” [Sorrell] said. “Consumers have to pay for content they value.”

Sorrell goes on to talk about the value of targeted communications and further consolidation in the media industry.

Earlier this week, WPP reported its interim results for 2010, reporting a 2 percent like-for-like growth in the PR and public affairs business for the first six months of the year. WPP’s PR firms include Burson-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton.

Total pre-tax profits rose 36 percent for the first half of the year to about $380 million.

[Image via MediaWeek]

WPP: PR Revenue Up 2% So Far In 2010

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WPP said at its annual meeting on Tuesday that public relations and public affairs are up 2% over the first five months in 2010, an slight improvement over the company’s advertising and media investment management businesses, which saw 1.7% growth over the same time period.

In December 2009, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell projected that 2010 revenues would be flat.

“It has been a pretty bumpy ride – and it is not over yet,” said chairman Philip Lader. “Nor, in one sense, will it ever be over. There is never a time in a competitive market such as ours when our companies can sit back and relax and let the business roll in.”

WPP’s PR holdings include Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe.

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell: Invading Social Media With Commercial Messages ‘Might Not Be The Right Thing’


As the social media marketing gold rush continues, one of the marketing industry’s top executives — WPP CEO Martin Sorrell — is questioning the medium.

“Invading these [social] media with commercial messages might not be the right thing,” said Sorrell at an event this week hosted by the Financial Times.

Sorrell added that social media sites are “less commercial phenomena, they are more personal phenomena,” more akin to “writing letters to our mothers” as opposed to traditional mediums such as television.

As the Financial TimesTim Bradshaw writes:

This would make Facebook and other social media more of an opportunity for public relations agencies – a smaller part of WPP’s empire – than traditional advertising.

Despite Sorrell’s stance, WPP has gobbled up a number of social media companies, including measurement firm Visible Technologies, social ad network Videoegg and private label online social network company LiveWorld.

At a media event this time last year, Sorrell said the three main areas of focus for WPP are emerging markets, “consumer insights,” referencing the acquisition of TNS, and “new media.”

WPP announces fourth quarter 2009 earnings tomorrow.

Year in Review: Agency Trends

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This year was all about digital, digital, digital. Agencies big and small expanded, re-branded, and staffed up to meet client demand, while also performing triage on their traditional business. A number agencies made deep staff cuts, while some closed altogether. Journalists fled crumbling mastheads to join the PR world. Flat became the new growth for those reporting earnings.

Here are a few posts remembering the year that was in public relations agency trends…

Firms create and name their digital divisions:

Levine opens LCO 2.0, Morris + King opens SeisMK; Ogilvy PR calls theirs 360° Digital Influence.

Big hires, mostly in digital:

David Patton leaves WSJ for WagEd’s Studio D; Stephanie Agresta gets a big bump at Porter Novelli; Chad Latz joins Cohn & Wolfe; Ogilvy adds several; Marian Salzman re-joins EuroRSCG; Cristina Lawrence leaves Fleishman Hillard for Razorfish; David Armano joins Edelman.

Digi-gurus leave their jobs to start their own consultancies, including:

“PR” Sarah Evans launches Sevans Strategy; “Key Influencer” James Andrews leaves Ketchum to start Everywhere; Chris Brown leaves “America’s Most Wanted” to run his firm full time.

Flat is the new up:

Richard Edelman predicts gloom at Davos; Omnicom, MDC (with up earnings), WPP all report revenue slips; Martin Sorrell already saying 2010 will be rough; The Council of PR Firms called it.

Firms and offices closed or shrank:

The mega-firm Enfatico, created to service Dell, has layoffs; Fleishman cuts deep in hometown Kansas City office; Taylor makes cuts; Catevo closes; LP&G closes office, goes virtual; Paul Wilmot exits L.A. after less than a year.

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell: 2010 Revenues Will Be Flat


Don’t expect growth from WPP in 2010, said CEO Martin Sorrell at the Reuters Global Media Summit today. Sorrell said he expects revenues for the holding company to be flat for the year.

Commenting as to whether the recession has permanently impacted consumer behavior, he stated, “I’m not sure it has but it’s going to take a long time for consumer behavior to go back to where it was.”

WPP’s PR agency holdings include Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe.

RELATED: WPP Q3: Overall Revenue Down 8.7%, PR Sector Down 8.5%

Middleberg Communications Acquires Dowd Agency

Middleberg Communications will acquire The Dowd Agency in a deal announced today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, however the acquisition puts the agency at more than $4 million in revenues and about 25 employees. Middleberg had net fees of $2,694,000 in 2008, which means about $1.5 million in annual business will come to the agency from today’s deal. The new agency will operate as Middleberg Communications, with The Dowd Agency as its consumer division.

This is the third deal in as many years for Middleberg. In November 2006 the agency acquired Towers Group and last February they acquired The Weiser Group.

The Dowd deal has been a long time in the works. “Jim and I have been talking for close to two years,” Middleberg Communications CEO Don Middleberg told PRNewser. “It’s not an economic story, it’s really a story of two guys who have been talking about doing something. Jim is a young guy who has tremendous consumer credentials.”

Dowd is steadily growing at a 20% year over year clip, Middleberg said, while his own agency is down 5-10% this year. Referring to his previous firm Middleberg & Associates, which was a 150-employee, $18 million operation that he sold to Euro RSCG, a division of Havas, in June 2000, Middleberg said he is, “not looking to become 150 people in three cities any longer, but I am looking to become what we were before, which is a superior firm doing great work.”

He also didn’t rule out future deals.

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The 36,000 Page RFP Submission? It Exists, Says WPP’s Sorrell


There are many gripes agencies have with the RFP process. One of the main ones being that they take up so much non-billable time. WPP CEO Martin Sorrell wishes agencies would get paid for their submissions, but knows it’s just not going to happen.

“The RFP [request for proposal] process is still a long process and it’s all for free. WPP has participated in a pitch for a piece of work recently invoicing four major groups all for [no cost to the prospect] and in one global pitch recently we delivered a 36,000 page document,” he said at a recent PR conference in London.