Grey swans turning white and artificial intelligence: These are the five best bits from Sir Martin Sorrell's update

Catherine Neilan
Follow Catherine
One of Sir Martin Sorrell's grey swans has turned white (Source: Getty)
Ahead of WPP's AGM today – in which Sir Martin Sorrell's pay packet was contested, but not thrown out – the advertising giant released its annual statement.
As with previous years it was packed full with words of wisdom from Sorrell, looking at macro, political and social pressures as well as what was happening in the business world.
The grey swans made a reappearance (although they are getting whiter with age) and there were a few new areas that caught our eye. Here are the five best lines from the WPP AGM trading statement.


For all the remarkable advances of Artificial Intelligence, Natural Intelligence still has a billion year start. 




I’ve been proud to know that it can be found in such abundance in our companies.  





There are other grey swans...




...Although one has now whitened





At one end of the spectrum you have the disrupters like Uber and Airbnb and at the other end you have the cost-focused models like 3G... while in the middle you have the activists led by Nelson Peltz, Bill Ackman and Dan Loeb, stressing short-term performance.



Not surprising then, that corporate leaders tend to be risk averse. 



Concerns about China and Brazil remain...



...although we remain unabashed bulls of both





For a brand to increase its share of market, it faces a choice: it can either cost less – or it can become worth more... 



...the one diminishes the brand; the other enriches it.



Related articles