NEWS: Shops are failing clients, Sorrell says

Agency networks have been publicly ticked off by WPP’s chief executive, Martin Sorrell, for failing to change their working methods to match those of their clients.

Agency networks have been publicly ticked off by WPP’s chief executive,

Martin Sorrell, for failing to change their working methods to match

those of their clients.



While clients have boosted their efficiency by switching to less

hierarchical structures, agencies are still doing things the same way

they did 80 years ago, he told a lunch at London’s Mansion House last

week.



He also criticised the ad industry for not doing enough to lure the best

and brightest graduates away from jobs in the City or management

consultancies.



Sorrell launched his broadside as he was named as this year’s winner of

the Publicity Club of London cup for his contribution to marketing and

advertising.



Sorrell said that clients had seen overseas sales increase from a third

of their business to 45 per cent over the past ten years, posing

questions for their agencies about how best to service their businesses.



At the same time, there has been a concerted drive for greater

efficiency, resulting in an overall 10 per cent increase in sales over

the past five years, while staff levels have dropped by the same amount,

Sorrell proclaimed.



All this, Sorrell added, was taking place against a background of huge

change in the media industry with the emergence of major new

conglomerates and alliances such as the recent ones between Walt Disney

and ABC and NBC and Microsoft.



Meanwhile, an explosion in new technology is changing the way agencies

communicate with consumers, he commented.



Sorrell, whose empire includes J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy and Mather,

predicted that the changes would force large agencies to behave like

small ones by working faster and being less bureaucratic.



He also urged agencies to harness the power of new technology to change

their emphasis from being geographically driven to client- driven

operations.



Sorrell’s comments were made in the wake of last week’s exclusive

interview with Campaign in which he signalled that WPP was laying out

plans to pool the media buying resources of JWT and O&M. He also

revealed that the group, which posted record pre-tax profits of pounds

113.7 million last year, may expand further into media ownership.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off Campaign's relaunch than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).