WPP dismisses any hope of pronounced recovery until 2004

Hopes of an imminent advertising recovery were dashed this week by a profits warning from WPP.

The advertising network issued a statement on 24 June saying that revenues for the first five months of 2002 were down by 2 per cent and that it would be "difficult to achieve its profit margin target of 15 per cent for 2002.

Philip Lader, WPP's chairman, said: "Our view continues to be that recovery will be gradual; saucer- or bath-shaped, rather than 'U-', 'V-' or 'W-'shaped, and will be American-led. 2002 will be better than 2001, and 2003 better than 2002, but pronounced recovery will have to wait until the US Presidential elections and the 2004 Olympics."

Shares in WPP fell by 7 per cent on Monday in response to the announcement, before rallying on Tuesday. Analysts had been expecting WPP to improve on its 14 per cent operating margin last year.

WPP has been hardest hit in North America, with revenues down by more than 6 per cent in the first five months. In Europe revenues were up by 5 per cent, but the UK was flat. Lader said the impact of the world economic recession and 11 September was still being felt. WPP's PR and public affairs companies have been hardest hit.


Become a member of Campaign from just £46 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

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


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).