Our top priorities
Our reason for being, the justification for WPP's existence, continues to be to add value to our clients' businesses and our people's careers. Our goal remains to be the world's most successful provider of communications services to multinational and local companies. To that end, we have three top strategic priorities.
- First, in the short term, having weathered the internet bust successfully, we need to build on the solid base we have established and prepare for any deterioration in the real economy, which we believe will be more severe in 2009, following the recent financial crisis. Our people are stronger: they are better resourced, motivated and incentivised than when we exited the last recession in the early 1990s. The Company is also more profitable, more liquid, less leveraged and better structured. In the most recent economic cycle, margins peaked at 14.5% and bottomed at 12.3%, as opposed to 10.5% and 5.6% the previous time.
- Second, in the medium term, to build upon the successful base we have established with the acquisitions of Young & Rubicam Brands and Grey. At Grey, the new management structure is now in place and the planned integration is now completed. Grey Advertising still needs to raise its game in terms of revenue growth and GHG needs to overcome the impact of FDA non-approvals on products that clients have assigned to them. At Young & Rubicam Brands, our plans are also largely implemented, the one remaining task being to continue to strengthen the Y&R advertising agency, although the business is showing increased strength, following the recent change in leadership.
- Our third priority, in the long term or over the next five to 10 years, is to:
- increase the combined geographic share of revenues of Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe, from around 25% to one-third.
- aim to increase the share of revenues of marketing services from 54% to two-thirds.
- increase the share of more measurable marketing services – such as Information, Insight & Consultancy, and direct, interactive and internet – from around 40% of our revenues to 50%.