PR agencies in the hi-tech sector are likely to become acquisition
targets of marketing services giant WPP.
Chief executive Sir Martin Sorrel this week announced soaring half-year
profits, up 22 per cent or pounds 26 million to pounds 138million.
The sector is enjoying a boom off the back of e-commerce growth, said
Sorrel, whose group recently completed its pounds 3bn take-over of rival
marketing services group Young and Rubicam.
Revenue in WPP’s core advertising and media division grew by a steady 16
per cent. WPP’s PR and public affairs revenues showed significant
growth, rising 46 per cent.
Market speculation suggests WPP will seek to acquire more ’high sector’
agencies - those moving into specialist divisions such as telecoms,
finance and entertainment.
WPP companies already specialising in new media include Hill and
Knowlton and Ogilvy Public Relations. Both recorded continued
Sorrel said: ’The WPP group is well-positioned to weather any economic
uncertainty because of its stronger financial position and competitive
strength in public relations and public affairs.’
Sorrel added that any weakness shown by ’pure internet’ companies was
compensated for by increases from the old economy.