Sorrell admits PR not as recession-proof as he hoped

NEW YORK: WPP group chairman Martin Sorrell, who controls most of

the world's PR interests, admitted last week at the UBS Warburg Media

Week conference that his "specialization (into PR) didn't work."

Sorrell added that he saw no indications of an upturn in the marketing

services industry. He told PRWeek that diversification into the PR

business hadn't sheltered his company from the recession: "People have

had such a terrible year, and PR and public affairs have been the most


Sorrell said all WPP divisions would be given a reprieve from 15%

operating margin targets he had expected for 2002, and was realistic

about recent losses: "We had ten years of unprecedented growth. There

had to be some correction in 2001."

WPP owns agencies Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, Cohn & Wolfe,

Ogilvy, and boutiques such as Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery.

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