Why does WPP want to hike Sorrell’s pay?

Q How much does Martin Sorrell earn?

A WPP’s chief exec was awarded a total of £12.9m for 2011. This is made up of: a basic salary of £1.3m (up 30 per cent compared to a year ago), a £2m cash bonus, just over £1m in pension contributions and other benefits, plus £8.6m from various share awards and holdings.

Q Why are shareholders threatening to vote against last year’s pay report?

A The majority of opposition focuses on the decision to increase Sorrell’s base salary by 30 per cent. There is also disquiet at the decision to increase his potential bonus from 300 per cent to 500 per cent of salary.

Q Are WPP investors likely to vote no?

A They certainly have form. Last year 40 per cent voted against the remuneration report, well before Sorrell’s pay rise and anyone had uttered the phrase “shareholder spring”.

Q How does Sorrell’s pay compare to his international rivals?

A WPP maintains its executive pay structure should be judged against other global media groups. US rival Omnicom paid its chief executive $15.4m (£9.96m) last year even though its shareholder return fell.