WPP statement on Zimbabwe
25 June, 2008
WPP shares the world's outrage at what is happening in Zimbabwe.
We were therefore extremely alarmed by the allegation last week that a firm in which we hold a minority interest (25%) through Y&R and over which we have no legal control, may be advising Robert Mugabe and his political party. This could never happen with our knowledge or approval and we investigated the situation as a matter of urgency.
We have now established that a senior member of the management had been advising President Mugabe in a personal capacity. Nonetheless we want no association with this effort.
WPP's board and management have established clear guidelines for our operating companies on clients for which we are prepared to work. The Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe is not an acceptable client in accordance with these standards.
The decision to divest Y&R's minority interests in Zimbabwe was proposed earlier this year and we are working to ensure this is completed as soon as possible.
Note: Our Group CR Policy on human rights is: "WPP companies will uphold the principles contained in the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation's fundamental conventions on core labour standards."