WPP’s House Of Pain
During last week’s Q3 earnings call, WPP CEO Mark Read pretty much hung all the dirty laundry out at once. The results were bad all around, with declines in their North American operations as well as their stand-alone creative agencies. Perhaps more troubling than the immediate top line rev decrease is the fact that WPP has been on the losing end of several media reviews lately. Just this year WPP has lost AOR duties for American Express, Campbell’s, Mercedes-Benz, United Airlines, HSBC and Bayer – so whatever they’re pitching is no longer working for clients.
In all fairness to Mark Read, he’s been on the job for two months and is trying to clean up the world’s largest HoCo after Sir Martin Sorrell’s 33 year reign as CEO. So most of these problems weren’t created on his watch. However, it will be up to Read and his leadership team to turn the ship around. Over the next few months I’d expect a sell-off of non-core assets including Kantar Media, and a trimming of WPP’s workforce. Yes WPPErs, winter is coming.