DIARY: A market recovery will be needed to secure Sorrell's place on the table

New-business executives at WPP-owned PR firms such as Burson-Marsteller and Finsbury are counting their chickens after The Sunday Times' annual top 500 highest earners list was published last weekend.

The rankings showed their ultimate boss - WPP group chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell - sneaking into the rankings in last, (ie 500th) place.

According to the The Sunday Times, Sorrell's earnings in 2001 amounted to £1.537m. Plenty of cash, no doubt, but down considerably from the £2.678m he bagged the previous year (when he came 249th).

A few thousand pounds (or one lucrative PR account) less and Sorrell - always one of the marketing communications industry's highest placers in any ranking of wealth - would have slipped out of the table altogether.

Sorrell will no doubt be hoping the marcoms recovery comes about sooner than he predicts or he is likely to disappear completely from next year's table.

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