Sorrell: Advertising spend has stabilised

Steve Dinneen
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SIR Martin Sorrell, boss of the world’s largest advertising agency WPP, said the worst appears to be behind the industry after revenues “stabilised” in the first quarter of this year.

Speaking at the Numis media conference, Sorrell said he was “relieved” that the industry had levelled out after “staring into the abyss” during 2009.

He joked that the industry had adopted a “flat is the new up” attitude as firms trumpeted stemming the vast revenue declines seen at the height of the recession.

WPP will continue to build its operations in developing countries, with Sorrell saying they will become increasingly important. The firm already employs almost as many workers in China as in the UK and the number is set to rise with demand.

He said most clients still under-invest in online advertising, with 20 per cent of people’s media consumption time spent online but only 12 per cent of advertising spend allocated for it. He said he is “not bullish” about the fate of traditional media and said Google has overtaken ITV as the UK’s largest media owner.