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Awards, Pomp, and Circumstance
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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AdLand loves its awards. And even when the leaders of the industry say that they don't follow awards, we all know that changes once they receive one. Take, for example, WPP's head honcho Sir Martin Sorrell. The boss, who is known for his micro-management in the media giant, has been receiving some acclaim in the UK and beyond.

Recently Sir Sorrell was voted Management Today's Most Admired Leader in 2012. It is hard to disagree with the pick. In 2012, Sorrell led WPP through an aggressive phase of growth and acquisition; notably making it the leader (in terms of sheer size) in the digital advertising landscape. It has fought for accounts tooth and nail, and most impressively, got the biggest digital firm, AKQA, to join its empire.

But the 67-year-old tycoon is not yet satisfied.

Yes, in the interview Sorrell speaks of how he learned that WPP won an account and lost one in the same day. What bothered him the most? That he learned too late that WPP had lost an account, because if he had known, he could have done something to help.

As we all follow the leaders of our industry, it is fascinating to wonder where advertising in our age is going to go next. Who will be the "next" Sir Sorrell? Is advertising really as important as we all say it is, or are we just a bunch of (as Kurt Vonnegut would call us) granfalloons?*

Who knows. But as we figure those questions out, let's give credit where credit is due. Who would have thought that Wire & Plastics Products plc would have turned into this?

*Granfalloon noun: a proud and meaningless association of human beings. 


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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