World Cup ad boost for WPP

Steve Dinneen
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THE World Cup has helped spur a massive growth spurt at the world’s biggest advertising firm WPP.

The embattled company said it is sticking by growth forecasts of two per cent this year after seeing revenues spike thanks to events such as the football tournament, the Winter Olympics and the US mid-term elections.

Chief executive Martin Sorrell said last week this forecast is probably too pessimistic.

In the first five months of the year, like-for-like sales grew two per cent, with May sales up well over five per cent. Growth was particularly pronounced in the US and southeast Asia.

Sales were up in all regions apart from western Europe, where France and the Netherlands were particularly challenging, according to the firm’s trading statement.

Sorrell said he is cautiously optimistic the market is turning around, as long as Europe’s economic woes were contained and do not spill over into global markets.

The group, which relocated to Ireland in order to avoid tax on its subsidiaries, did not comment on chancellor George Osborne’s attempt to lure it back to the UK tax system.