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Martin Sorrell on Industry Trends
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Sometimes coverage on events like Cannes can surprise us. During the latest festival, AdAge got a chance to sit down with WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell to talk about some of the most recent developments in the advertising industry. Though we are still not fans of the holding company model, we do appreciate Sorrell's vision and insight when it comes to AdLand.

When we watched the nearly four-minute clip, one thing that impressed us was how close to the ground he was when it came to viable actions in the digital realm. Though he is known to be quite the micro-manager, it was interesting to hear him talk about tactics as if he was doing them himself. He also poked fun at IPG and others at investing in Facebook, wondering if they made their money back. He didn't think so.

The reason why we wanted to share the video is because AdAge asked him about companies like P&G, Johnson & Johnson delaying payment terms for agencies. If there was any outcry, the sound was minimal. We thought it was not only a jerk move, but if agencies agree to it, it sets a very dangerous precedence. Sorrell, thankfully, agreed. The irony is that he spoke of the move as a pending catalyst for further consolidation of the industry, as if the holding powerhouse WPP isn't already contributing to it.

Here's the video in Sorrell's own words.



On Agency: the last quote that we appreciated was how Sorrell summed up why brands go to agencies and media companies: "strategic thinking, creative execution, and implementation." If an agency cannot deliver on those three elements, than it must re-examine what its doing. 

Maybe we appreciated the video because it relieves us to see a "thought leader" who actually knows what's going on in AdLand, and doesn't reach for hyperbolic ideals about creativity, social and digital media, or the "death" of anything. To be successful in an industry that helps businesses, people should know business. It seems that Sorrell does.


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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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