Mike Fromowitz
Jun 14, 2013

The house Sir Martin built

I am simply amazed by Sir Martin Sorrell and his WPP Group.

The house Sir Martin built

It is the world's largest advertising company by revenues. The group employs around 162,000 people in 3,000 offices across 110 countries (there is a total of 196 countries in the world). WPP has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and has a secondary listing on NASDAQ.

WPP companies provide communications services to clients worldwide including more than 300 of the Fortune Global 500; over one-half of the NASDAQ 100 and over 30 of the Fortune e-50. They work with over 330 clients in three or more disciplines; and well over 100 clients in six or more countries.

WPP owns a number of big name brands including Ogilvy Group, Grey, JWT, Bates CHI & Partners, Burston-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, Mindshare, MEC, Maxus, MediaCom, TNS, Y&R, and Cohn & Wolf, to name but a few.

What has been important to Martin Sorrell as he builds his communications services group, is to ensure that every WPP company remains a distinctive brand with their own identities and expertise. If there is one common factor they hold, it is in harnessing intelligence, talent, experience and ideas that bring competitive advantage to their clients.

It has been 28 years since Sir Martin took the gamble on Wire and Plastic Products, a stockmarket-listed manufacturer of wire baskets. And from it, he worked his alchemy magic and turned it all into the world’s largest marketing services company. Last year WPP made more than £1bn  in pre-tax profits and £10bn in revenues. It has a market capitalisation of more than £13bn.

I first met Sir Martin in Hong Kong several years ago when I was Chairman and Executive Creative Director of The Ball Partnership in Hong Kong. He invited me for breakfast in the Mandarin Oriental Grill (what class). Back then, he was stocky and tough-looking, as he is today. I was impressed by the man—no doubt about it. He was disciplined, witty, and had a wry charm.  At first, I thought he wanted to offer me a new job, when in fact, he wanted to pick my brain on what we were doing to make The Ball Partnership such a hot agency in Hong Kong and Asia. He was doing a “Sun Tzu” on me, gathering up all the information and knowledge he could about his competitors.

Sir Martin has no doubt built an amazing company— the most successful communications group in the world, and like Sun Tzu, he leads it brilliantly. In 2012, for the second year running, WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

WPP ranked the Most Effective Holding Company in the 2012 North American Effie’s Effectiveness Index Rankings. GroupM was named Holding Company of the Year in the Gunn Report for Media.

The Group’s international footprint, now in 110 countries is staggering, with Ogilvy & Mather taking a stake in Myanmar’s Today Advertising.

And in December 2012, Martin Sorrell was named Britain's Most Admired Leader by Management Today and received the UK Marketing Society's Outstanding Leadership Award.

Over the years, WPP has made news headlines like no other marketing group ever has. Not to mention the news that Sir Martin has drummed up recently as an evangelist for the new technologies that are shaping our digital world.  Not that the man is a technology geek or into gadgets—he remains one of the most astute and intuitive businessmen the communications world has ever known.

Most of us in the industry are well aware of Sir Martin Sorrell and his WPP Group of companies. But until you actually take a look at all of them in list form, there is no way anyone could possibly imagine how big the group is nor its impact on our industry.
So I went to WPP’s website and downloaded this most amazing list of companies. It’s staggering length took my breath away!

Have fun scrolling...

WPP plc


9ine Sports & Entertainment - Sports marketing
10AM Communications - Advertising
141 Premiere Sports & Entertainment - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
1861united - Advertising
24/7 Media - WPP Digital
41?29! - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing

A

A.Eicoff - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Acceleration - WPP Digital
Actionline - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Actis - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Added Value - Consumer insight
Added Value Cheskin - Consumer insight
Addison Corporate Marketing - Branding & identity
Adgistics - Technology marketing
ADK - Advertising
AdGooroo - Consumer insight
AdPeople Worldwide - Advertising
Advertures - Advertising
Affectiva - Consumer Insight
Agency M  - Media investment manager
AGENDA - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
All Global - Healthcare communications; Consumer insight
All Global Viewing - Healthcare communications; Consumer insight
all access ltd - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Alliance - Sports marketing
Alpha Salmon - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Always Marketing Services - Branding & identity
APP (Agência Portuguesa de Produção) - Advertising
aqua - digital, promotion & relationship marketing
argonauten G2 - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
avh live communications - Event/face to face marketing
AxiCom - Publc relations & public affairs

B

B to D Group - Branding & identity
B|W|R, An Ogilvy PR Worldwide Company - Sports marketing
Banner - Technology marketing
Barrows - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Bates CHI&Partners - Advertising
BAV Consulting - Advertising
BCG2 - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
BDG architecture + design - Branding & identity
Berlin Cameron United - Advertising
Bienalto - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Big Idea Group - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Bisqit - Branding & identity
Blanc & Otus - Public relations & public affairs
Blast Radius - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Blaze Advertising - Advertising
Blue Hive - Advertising, Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing, Media investment management
Blue State Digital - Digital
BLUMBERRY - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
BPG Group - Advertising
BPRI - Consumer insight
BrandAmp - Media investment management
Bravo - Demographic marketing
Brierley+Partners - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
bsb comunicacion - Advertising
BTS United - Advertising
Buchanan Communications - Public relations & public affairs
Burrows - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Burson-Marsteller - Public relations & public affairs

C

Carl Byoir & Associates - Public relations & public affairs
Carnation - WPP Digital
CASA - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Catalyst - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
CB'a - Branding & identity
C-Section - Advertising
Celsius International - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Center Partners - Consumer insight
Chemistry - Advertising
CHI&Partners - Advertising
Chime Communications Plc - Advertising; Branding & identity; Corporate/B2B; Healthcare communications; Media investment management; Public relations & public affairs
CIC - Consumer insight
Clarion Communications - Public relations & public affairs
Clickworks - Advertising
Clockwork Capital - Media & production services
Cohn & Wolfe - Public relations & public affairs
Cole & Weber United - Advertising
Coley Porter Bell-Branding & identity
Commarco - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Compas - Media investment management
Compete - Consumer insight
Comwerks - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Communicator - Specialist communications
Contract Advertising - Advertising
Converge Technologies - Digital
CSM Media Research - Consumer insight
CTR Market Research - Consumer insight

D

Data Intelligence - Media investment management
DAVID - Advertising
Dawson - Advertising
DCSNET - Advertising
deepblue networks - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Deliver (Hogarth) - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Dentsu, Y&R - Advertising
Designkitchen - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Designworks - Branding & identity
Dewey Square Group, LLC - Public relations & public affairs
dialogue - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Diamond Ogilvy - Advertising
DSBK Activate - Advertising
Digit - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Digitab - Consumer insight
Digital PR - Public relations & public affairs
Digitaria - Digital Marketing & Technology
Direct Impact - Public relations & public affairs
Dovetail - Branding & identity
DT Digital - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Dynamic Logic - Consumer insight

E

eCommera - WPP Digital Partner company
EffectiveUI - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
ETECTURE GmbH - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Encompass - Event/face to face marketing
Essence Communications - Public relations & public affairs
Etcom - Demographic marketing
EWA Bespoke Communications - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing

F

F.biz - WPP Digital
Fabric Worldwide - WPP Digital
facts and fiction - Event/face to face marketing
Feinstein Kean Healthcare (FKH) - Healthcare communications
Firefly - Consumer insight
Fitch - Branding & identity ; Corporate/B2B; Event/face to face marketing
First Loom - WPP Digital Partner company
Food Group - Corporate/B2B; Foodservice marketing
Forward Worldwide - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Foster - WPP Digital
Futurecom interactive - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing

G

G2 - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
G2 Knowledge Consulting - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
G2 MarketData - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
GCI Group - Public relations & public affairs
GCI Health - Healthcare communications
George Patterson Y&R - Advertising
Geppetto Group - Youth marketing
gkk DialogGroup GmbH - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Global Counsel  - Public relations & public affairs
Globant  - Digital
Grape - WPP Digital
Grass Roots - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing; Event/face to face marketing
Grey - Advertising
Grey Group - Advertising; Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing; Healthcare communications; Public relations & public affairs
Grey Healthcare - Healthcare communications
Grey 141 - Advertising
GroupM - Media investment management

H

H-art - Media investment management
Happi Mindshare - Media investment management
HeathWallace Ltd - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
HERING SCHUPPENER - Public relations & public affairs
HighCo - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Hill+Knowlton Strategies  - Public relations & public affairs
Hogarth Worldwide - Specialist communications
HS Ad - Advertising

I

I-Behavior - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
i-Cherry - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
IBOPE Media Information - Information, insight & consultancy
iconmobile - WPP Digital Partner companies
IdeaWorks - Consumer insight
IEG, LLC - Event/face to face marketing
Ignite - Event/face to face marketing
Imagina Group - Media & production services
IMRB International - Consumer insight
Intermarkets - Public relations & public affairs
IPAN Hill and Knowlton - Public relations & public affairs
iPremium Service - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Ireland/Davenport - Advertising

J

JAN Kelley Marketing - Advertising
JayGrey - Advertising
JMI - Sports marketing
Johannes Leonardo - Advertising
John st.  - Advertising
Joule - Media investment management
Jumptap - WPP Digital Partner companies
JWTAction - Consumer insight
JWT - Advertising
JWT Inside - Advertising; Employer branding/recruitment

K
k102 - Advertising
K&L Advertising - Demographic marketing
Kantar - Consumer insight
Kantar Health - Consumer insight
Kantar Japan - Consumer insight
Kantar Media - Consumer insight
Kantar Operations - Consumer insight
Kantar Retail - Consumer insight
Kantar WorldPanel - Consumer insight
Kassius - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
KBM Group - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Kinetic - Media investment management
KKLD* - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
KR Media - Media investment management
KSM - Advertising

L

LaComunidad - Digital, direct, viral, ecommerce & crm
Lambie-Nairn - Branding & identity
Landor Associates - Branding & identity
LDV United - Advertising
Les Ouvriers du Paradis United - Advertising
Lightspeed Research - Consumer insight
LOb Conseils - Healthcare communications
Lorien Consulting - Consumer insight; Corporate/B2B; Demographic marketing
Lunchbox - Advertising

M

M/SIX- Media investment management
Madhouse India - Media investment management
Mando - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Maxus - Media investment management
Maxx Marketing - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
MEC - Media investment management
MEC Access - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
MEC Interaction - Media investment management
MediaCom - Media investment management
MediaCom Interaction - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Menacom - Branding & identity ; Media investment management; Public relations & public affairs
Meritus - Media investment management
metagate - Media & production services
Metro - Media & production services
MetropolitanRepublic - Advertising
Millward Brown - Consumer insight
MindShare - Media investment management
mInteraction - Media investment management
MJM - Corporate/B2B; Event/face to face marketing; Healthcare communications
Motivator - Media investment management
Mutato - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
MONDAY - Advertising

N

NATIONAL Public Relations - Public relations & public affairs
Neo at Ogilvy - Branding & identity ; Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
nPario - WPP Digital

O

Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide - Advertising
Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide - Healthcare Communications
Ogilvy Government Relations - Public relations & public affairs
Ogilvy Noor - Advertising
Ogilvy Primary Contact - Corporate/B2B
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide - Public relations & public affairs
OgilvyAction - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
OgilvyOne Worldwide - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Ohal - Consumer insight
oOh!media - Media investment management
Outrider - Media investment management

P

PACE - Real estate marketing
Palisades Media Ventures - Public relations & public affairs
Parson Latinoamerica SA   - Advertising
PBN H+K Strategies - Public relations & public affairs
PeclersParis -Branding & identity
Penn Schoen Berland - Branding & identity ; Corporate/B2B; Public relations & public affairs
PLAY Communication - Experiential marketing
Plush Films - Media & production services
POSSIBLE - WPP Digital
PPR - Public relations & public affairs
Prime Policy Group - Public relations & public affairs
PRISM - Sports marketing
Pro Deo - Event/face to face marketing
Proclivity - WPP Digital
Promo Interactive - Advertising
Proof Integrated Communications - Public relations & public affairs
Public Strategies Inc - Public relations & public affairs

Q

QGA Public Affairs - Public relations & public affairs
Quasar - Digital
Quisma - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing

R

Real Media Group - WPP Digital
Red Cell - Advertising
Red Dot Square Solutions - Consumer insight
RedWorks - Advertising
RessourcenReich - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
RLM Finsbury - Public relations & public affairs
RMG Connect - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Rockfish Interactive - WPP Digital
RPCA - Public relations & public affairs
RTC - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing

S

Salmon - Digital
Santo - Advertising
SAY Media - WPP Digital Partner companies
Scholz & Friends - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
SCI Scientific Communications & Information - Healthcare communications, Specialist communications
SCPF - Advertising
Sharp Shooter Films - Advertising
Shift - Advertising
Smollan Group - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Smollan Headcount - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
SocialMedia8 - Social media & conversational marketing
Soho Square - Advertising
Spafax - Direct, Digital, promotion & releationship marketing                                       Sonic Boom Creative Media - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Public relations & public affairs  Spafax - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
spring GmbH & Co - Consumer Insight
Sprint Production - Media & production services
Sra Rushmore United - Advertising
SRDS - Consumer insight
Strike Media - Digital
Studiocom - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Sudler & Hennessey - Healthcare communications
swat marketing - Branding & identity
Syzygy- WPP Digital

T

TAM Media Research - Consumer insight
TAPSA Y&R - Advertising; Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing; Media investment management
tattoo - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
TAXI - Advertising
Team Detroit - Advertising; Branding & identity ; Media investment management
Teledirect - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
tenthavenue - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing                        Testardo Gram - Advertising
The Brand Union - Branding & identity
the campaign palace - Advertising
The Farm - Media & production services
The Focus Network - Consumer insight
The Futures Company - Consumer insight
The Glover Park Group - Public relations & public affairs
The Jupiter Drawing Room - Advertising
The Media Innovation Group (MIG) - WPP Digital
The Midas Exchange - Media investment management
The Partners - Branding & identity
The Social Partners - Advertising
The Store - WPP knowledge communities
These Days - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
The United Network - Advertising
TNS - Consumer insight
TNS Employee Insights - Consumer insight
TNS Gallup - Consumer insight
TNS-BMRB - Consumer insight
TNS Infratest - Consumer insight
TNS-RMS - Consumer insight
Triwaks Public Relations Consultants - Public relations & public affairs
TRU - Consumer insight
True Worldwide - Advertising

U

United Visions GmbH - Media & production services
UniWorld Group - Demographic marketing

V

VBAT - Branding & identity
ViralTracker - Viral and online video measurement
Visible - WPP Digital Partner companies
Visible World - WPP Digital Partner companies
VML - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing

W

Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates - Public relations & public affairs
WG Consulting - Healthcare communications
Who Digital - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Wild Tangent - WPP Digital Partner companies
Wing - Demographic marketing
Wire and Plastic Products Ltd - Manufacturing
Wunderman - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Wunderman Dentsu - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Wunderman MENA - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing
Wunderman World Health - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing

X

Xaxis - Media investment management
XM Asia Pacific - Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing

Y

Y&R- Advertising
Yolk - Advertising
Young & Rubicam Group - Advertising; Branding & identity ; Direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing; Healthcare communications; Public relations & public affairs
Young & Rubicam Brands Geneva - Corporate/B2B

 

 

Mike Fromowitz., a longtime Asia-Pacific ad man, is now partner and chief creative officer of Ethnicity Multicultural Marketing + Advertising in Toronto. He is also the author of the one of the most consistently popular articles on this website, a 2013 post entitled, "Cultural blunders: Brands gone wrong".



 


 

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