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Penny Machines

Cherries
oil on canvas
22 x 20 in
1981

Penny Machines
oil on canvas
23¾ x 29¾ in
1961

Stack of Books
oil on canvas
30 x 24 in
n.d.

Seven Suckers
oil on canvas
19 x 23 in
1970

Twin Jackpots
oil on canvas
30 x 46 in
1962

Ties
oil on canvas
20 x 26 in
1980

Cake Slices
oil on canvas
20 x 16 in
n.d.

Creativity remains paramount

6 It seems entirely right that we should open this section with a tribute to Robyn Putter, a towering creative figure in our industry who sadly died at a young age on 1 March 2010.

First in his own South African agency, then for more than 30 years with Ogilvy & Mather and latterly as creative head at WPP, Robyn practised, preached and as a person epitomised all that is most admirable in the creative function. Endlessly inventive himself, his benign influence reached every part of Ogilvy – and ultimately the whole Group. As principled as he was creative, he set the highest of standards – and inspired thousands around the world to meet them. His influence, happily, is with us still.

Robyn was centrally important to us because he represented, championed and endlessly encouraged the improvement in the quality of creative work throughout the Group – which continues to be our sixth objective. Despite the growing importance of co-ordinated communications and price effectiveness, the quality of the work remains and will remain paramount. If you drew a graph plotting creative awards (as a proxy for creativity) against margins for any group of agencies, there would be a very strong correlation. The more awards, the stronger the margins. The client’s procurement department fades into the background when the work is strong. Of the three things we do – strategic thinking, creative execution and co-ordination – creative execution is undoubtedly the most important, and that means creativity in its broadest sense.

Clients look for creative thinking and output not just from advertising agencies, public relations and design companies, but also from our media companies and our research companies. Millward Brown remains arguably one of our most creative brands. Witness the BrandZ Top 100 Most Powerful Brands Study published annually with the Financial Times.

We intend to achieve this objective by stepping up our training and development programs; by recruiting the finest external talent; by celebrating and rewarding outstanding creative success tangibly and intangibly; by acquiring strong creative companies; and by encouraging, monitoring and promoting our companies’ achievements in winning creative awards.

In pursuing these aims, the Group now looks for leadership to John O’Keeffe, who in 2008 succeeded Robyn Putter as WPP’s worldwide creative director. Under John’s guidance, gratifying and discernible progress continues.

2009 saw the third annual WPPED Cream awards, our internal award scheme for outstanding work across the Group. Your Company also amassed the second largest points tally at the 2009 advertising and marketing services festival in Cannes for the second year in a row and narrowed the gap to first place (please refer to our website, www.wpp.com, for detailed, accurate calculations).

At the same time we are committed to achieving all these objectives as a significantly responsible corporate citizen of the world at large and in the communities in which we operate.

As a parent company, we continue to develop practical principles and policies for our companies’ charitable giving and services to the environment, education, the arts and healthcare based on best practice guidelines. We conservatively calculate that the WPP organisation contributed an estimated £14.9 million worth of time, skills, materials and money to social and community causes in 2009. A summary of the Group’s approach to corporate responsibility here. Doing good is not altruism or charity, it is good business, when like us you are focused on long-term total share owner return.

Please also see our annual and unique (in our industry) Corporate Responsibility Report on the work our clients and our people do in these increasingly important areas.

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