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Posts Tagged ‘WPP’

WPP Shareholders Vote Down Sir Martin Pay Increase

A couple of weeks ago, some of WPP‘s top investors issued a “red top” alert over a proposed 30 percent increase in pay for the company’s CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell. Now, they’ve lowered the boom with 60 percent of investors voting “nay” on a proposed pay package at the company’s annual meeting in Dublin.

“The message from shareholders was unambiguous and cannot be ignored. It is now in the compensation committee’s gift to reach out to WPP’s leading shareholders to address their concerns and implement mutually acceptable pay policies and practices,” Guy Jubb, global head of governance & stewardship at Standard Life Investments, told the Financial Times.

In 2011, Sir Martin’s salary increased 30 percent to £1.3 million, with total pay increasing 60 percent to £6.8 million (about $10.6 million).

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Tech Makes a Strong Showing on Most Valuable Brands List

WPP‘s Millward Brown has released its seventh annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Study and, shocking to no one, Apple tops the list. The brand is now valued at $182.9 billion. IBM has moved into the number two spot, ahead of Google. And McDonald’s is at number four, the only non-tech company to break the top five. (Facebook entered the top 20 at number 19, just below Amazon.)

Interestingly, Marlboro is at number seven, rising from number eight last year. It beat out AT&T and Verizon to round out the top 10. The total value of the top 100 is $2.4 trillion.

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Shareholders Are Losing It Over High Executive Pay

The word on the street is that WPP head Sir Martin Sorrell is getting a huge pay raise, which could stir up controversy over executive pay. It’s an issue that’s rearing its head at a number of companies, particularly at banks. (Mediapost has info about executive pay at other holding companies.)

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WPP’s Like-For-Like PR Revenue Up 1.9 Percent

WPP reported a like-for-like revenue increase of 1.9 percent in the public relations and public affairs area for Q1 2012. Revenue for the sector totaled £225 million, or about $365.6 million. In constant currencies, that percentage goes up to 6.8 percent. The company said Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe showed the strongest growth. B-M this week announced leadership changes at Proof Integrated Communications and in its consumer and brand marketing practice.

Overall, that means PR and public affairs make up 9.4 percent of total revenue for the company.

Revenue for WPP as a whole totaled about £2.93 billion (about $4.76 billion), up 7.6 percent in pound sterling and 5.5 percent in U.S. dollars. Like-for-like revenue was up four percent.

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Roll Call: Grayling, Choice Hotels, WPP, and More

Grayling has a new North American PR CEO, Chris Boehlke, who will lead the company’s public relations groups in Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. Boehlke joined Grayling in 2009 after parent company Huntsworth acquired her PR firm Connecting Point. She is currently head of the Grayling’s San Francisco office. [via]

Choice Hotels has named Robin Pence VP of PR. She’ll be managing external comms in the areas of media, government, and industry relations. Pence will report to Alexandra Jaritz, SVP of brand strategy and marketing. She joins from Gannett where she was VP of corporate communications. [via]

Adrienne Hayes has been named GM of Edelman‘s consumer marketing group in New York. She’s been with the firm for five years. Group clients include Energizer, AOL, and TJ Maxx/Marshall’s.

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WPP Reports Record Profits, PR Revenue Up 4.8 Percent

WPP earnings today show a 7.4 percent revenue growth, with full-year revenue numbers topping £10 billion (about $16 billion, according to today’s conversion rates) for the first time. Profits also exceeded £1 billion, a first-ever for the marketing giant.

Billings for the company were up 4.9 percent for the year to £44.8 billion (about $71.4 billion). And operating profits reached £1.43 billion (about $2.28 billion).

On the PR and public affairs front, revenue for the year totaled £886 million (about $1.41 billion), up 4.8 percent. WPP firms include Ogilvy PRBurson-Marsteller, and Hill & Knowlton. For more info on WPP’s earnings, click here.

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H+K Strategies Merges in Russia, Launches Research Group

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has a lot going on these days.

Today they’ve announced a merger with The PBN Company, which will add offices across Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and across the Commonwealth of Independent States. Offices in this region will operate under the name PBN Hill+Knowlton Strategies. In Moscow, where both companies have offices, H+K will merge operations with PBN. In D.C., PBN will merge operations with H+K offices.

WPP bought 49.9 percent of The PBN Company in 2007. This merger is the result of the additional 25.1 percent purchase in the company. PBN execs Peter Necarsulmer, Susan Thurman, and Myron Wasylyk will keep the remaining 25 percent stake.

And, H+K has launched a new research and analytics organization, Research+Data Insights, that will be headquartered in the H+K New York office and have 12 locations around the world. Dr. Michael Lustina will oversee U.S. research and global operations; David Iannelli will oversee global research; and Dr. Peter Zandan is global vice chairman.

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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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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Cohn & Wolfe Acquiring impactasia

WPP‘s Cohn & Wolfe is acquiring impactasia, a firm with expertise in healthcare, travel and tourism, art and design, and other areas. The new firm will be called Cohn & Wolfe-impactasia and it will have 80 employees, tripling the size of C&W’s presence in Asia, according to the announcement’s press release.

Susan Field and Sarah Woodhouse, founders of impactasia, will lead the newly formed firm, hanging on to their titles CEO and MD, respectively. Lydia Shen, MD of Cohn & Wolfe China and Fiona Ng, MD of impactasia, will be MDs of the new firm. All will report to C&W CEO Donna Imperato.

The deal doesn’t include impactasia’s Singapore office, which was bought out by firm partners Amy Wright and Kate O’Shea, according to The Holmes Report.

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