Beijing blow to WPP
ADVERTISING giant WPP yesterday predicted a tough 2009 for the industry after the Olympic Games failed to generate the “Beijing bounce” it had expected, writes Peter Cunliffe.
Chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell conceded the company faced a difficult period as advertisers cut spending but he scotched suggestions it faced a drop in revenues.
“Whatever the pattern, it is not likely our budget will reflect the Armageddon currently predicted from the fall in stock prices,” he added.
WPP, which takes in such famous agencies as JWT and Ogilvy & Mather, reported underyling sales growth of 3 per cent in the third quarter of this year — lower than the 4.3 per cent seen in the first, and below the 3.3 per cent the City had expected.
Sorrell said the company had not seen a spike in sales from the Olympics, though he stressed there had been no downturn either.
The figures showed weakening UK demand, with growth at 2.9 per cent down from 4.6 per cent, while North America showed no growth. But Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East showed strong growth.
The shares rose 31p to 363dp.