What we think

Grey swans and Chinese innovation
by Sir Martin Sorrell

2014 will be tough but manageable. Clients remain cautious post-Lehman but spending on marketing services should be bolstered by the mini-quadrennial events of the Sochi Winter Olympics, the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the US mid-term Congressional elections.

Although a number of them have whitened, the ‘grey swans’ or known unknowns – the Eurozone’s potential fragility, developments in the Middle East, the BRICs hard or soft landing, the US budget and deficit issues, the UK referenda, the crisis in Ukraine and the Sino-Japanese dispute in the East China Sea – create ongoing economic uncertainty.

Our business continues its transformation in line with wider societal, behavioural and technological changes. While so-called ‘traditional’ media and marketing disciplines remain critically important, Don Draper would hardly recognise as much as 70% of what we do today.

Digital marketing, media investment management and data investment management now account for about $12 billion of our $17.3 billion of revenues.

Strategically, we continue to focus on our four priorities: new markets, new media, data investment management and, last but not least, horizontality.

Read Sir Martin Sorrell's article...

Why it’s Time to Say Goodbye to IKTHTMISOAIW*
(*I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted …)
by Jeremy Bullmore

One of the world’s most widely-held beliefs about advertising is based on a remark, allegedly made a hundred years ago, by one of four men, none of whom may have made it, and which, when examined, makes little sense.

Read Jeremy Bullmore's essay in full...

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