A view from the top
By Sir Martin Sorrell, campaignlive.co.uk, Thursday, 31 January 2013 08:00AM
The week starts with breakfast in London with Campaign's new editor. We discuss potential directions for this learned journal. Possible implication - trade media is still too powerful.
Then on to a meeting with the head of WPP’s UK Government practice. We plan to extend it worldwide. Possible implication – government becoming more important as a regulator, investor and client, despite the restrictions on spending.
A TV interview with the BBC on the EU referendum. Implication – the opinion of our industry does matter. And an interview with a major French newspaper. I’m bullish on France in the longer term. Western continental Europe is tough, but will recover (perhaps in time for the referendum!).
Lunch with a retired sportsman who, like Ronaldo, wants our help. Sport is an increasingly important feature of our industry, along with entertainment. Then the launch of our third annual 50 most-valuable Chinese brands study: a reminder of the irresistible rise of China and its growing family of brands.
Afternoon includes a meeting with the chief financial officer of one of our biggest clients to make sure we are aligned with finance and procurement, the power of which is increasing, like it or not. No dinner engagement tonight and early to bed after some quality dog-time.
Up early on Tuesday for the opening session of the Enders conference. If I’m not awake already, Peter Bazalgette’s tie and socks do the trick. My global view focuses on our strategic mantra of new markets, new media, application of technology and big data, and horizontality.
Fly to Rome for the Mayor’s International Business Advisory Council on Milan Expo 2015, Digital Rome and a Roman City regeneration project.
Good media coverage plus a beautifully arranged tour and dinner at the Campidoglio, with work sessions on Wednesday morning, after a very long, interesting "political" breakfast. Little respite in the Italian economy, with TV down 20 per cent in January pre-election. Berlusconi still has a considerable following and emotional appeal.
Back to London for the President’s Club charitable dinner. I hate the black tie – but all in a good cause for children’s charities.
Thursday morning off to Detroit to see our largest client and the Auto Show. Ford is in strong heart. Leadership team emphasising a revenue growth plan with flawless execution via our Team Ford. Ford wants our best people. Clients are starting to realise cutting costs is not only solution.
By dinner on Thursday, the flu that has been brewing finally nails me and I retreat to bed at 9pm. Doctor prescribes Tamiflu and a Z-Pak by phone. Possible implication – I’m mortal.
Up early on Friday and into 11 meetings with senior Ford management. Change to black tie again (ugh!) and on to the Charity Preview and media interview. Highlight of the show for me was the Ford concept truck – just wait for next year.
Out to New York that night so I can get the day flight to London on Saturday. British Airways cancels flight because of the snow, but squeeze on to United flight. Collapse into bed and stay there all Sunday – sleeping and watching Chelsea hold off Arsenal (sorry, Eric) and Spurs nick an equaliser (deservedly) in injury time against United (sorry, Laurence and Jim).
First thing Monday, it starts all over again…
Sir Martin Sorrell is the chief executive of WPP
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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