What did Sir Martin Sorrell, the chairman and chief executive of
the newly engorged WPP, do amid his volatile negotiations for Young &
Rubicam? Why, he played with his balls.
The balls in question belonged to the San Francisco Giants, whose
baseball season was opened this year by Sorrell throwing the first pitch
of the first game - normally a privilege reserved for the President.
Bill Clinton was clearly tied up, however, so the team called in the man
who owns the company that designs the team’s uniforms. An obvious second
But as proud as Sorrell must have been, he was missed in the office.
The event took place on 1 May, but next day the papers were full of the
story that Publicis was considering teaming up with Y&R after WPP’s
talks had fallen through.
Sorrell eventually persuaded Y&R to agree to his terms of the takeover.
But, of course, this is a man who is well practised in throwing pitches.