e.wire No. 217 - May 2017
WPP news bulletin

e.wire is WPP’s monthly public round-up of news and initiatives across the Group’s worldwide network. The following are edited highlights; view the full version here.

Stop Press

New CEO for WPP China

WPP has announced the appointment of Patrick Xu as CEO for WPP China, following the departure of Bessie Lee. Patrick will also continue in his current role of CEO of GroupM China, based in Shanghai. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, said: “China is WPP’s third largest market and has traditionally been a strong contributor to WPP’s overall growth. As such, it is important that we have some continuity in our senior management focusing on WPP’s growth agenda in the market. Patrick’s role will have a special emphasis on horizontality and ensuring our business is localised and more relevant to Chinese clients, partners and staff. I want to thank Bessie for her many years of commitment to WPP.” In Greater China, WPP companies (including associates) generate revenues of $1.6 billion with almost 14,000 people in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and many other cities and provinces.

Digital advertising to surpass TV in five more countries

GroupM has published Interaction 2017, its state-of-the-union assessment of digital advertising worldwide with forecasts on technology developments, media marketplace trends and evolving consumer behaviours. The report offers in-depth insights underpinning digital advertising growth forecasts in 46 markets. Among its predictions is that digital investment will surpass TV in five further markets in 2017 (France, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong and Taiwan). Topics covered include ad fraud and marketplace integrity, fake news, privacy, ad blocking, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, video competition across platforms, live video, advanced television, streaming and on-demand audio, and much more. In the report, GroupM’s Global Chief Digital Officer, Rob Norman, and Adam Smith, Futures Director, also share views on media pricing, the consolidation of economic value in media among a small group of companies, and media consumption and ecommerce trends.

WPP 2017 first quarter trading update

The first quarter of 2017 saw revenue, net sales and operating profit above budget and ahead of last year, despite continuing tough conditions in terms of global economic activity, client confidence and the competitive environment. There was like-for-like revenue growth in all regions and business sectors, except North America, and net new business of $2.103 billion in the first quarter, compared to $1.779 billion in the first quarter last year.

New Offers

Finsbury, The Glover Park Group and Hering Schuppener in strategic partnership

Three of the world’s leading strategic and financial communications and public affairs consultancies have announced the formation of a strategic partnership on a unified global platform. The entry of The Glover Park Group enhances the successful partnership that Finsbury and Hering Schuppener launched in April 2016. The partnership provides public and private companies and leading institutions and non-profits with bespoke communications counsel combined with global reach and the simplicity of a single, seamless relationship. Clients are supported by integrated global practice groups that deliver insight and impact on Capital Markets and Transaction Communications, Corporate Reputation and CEO Communications, Crisis and Issues Management, and Corporate and Public Affairs.

Burson-Marsteller tackles fake news

Public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller has announced an initiative to protect its clients against the rise of so-called fake news and to reinforce the integrity of its own communications activities. The effort will include an internal Professional Practices Committee, consisting of both senior strategic communications counselors who were journalists before joining the firm and independent former journalists of stature. This group will serve as a professional guide to employees and major clients on how to prepare in this environment and how to assure the integrity of content.

Deeplocal joins WPP Digital

US-based innovation studio Deeplocal has been acquired by WPP Digital. Focused on product invention, design and engineering for marketing campaigns in the US, its clients include Google, Netflix, Airbnb, Inc., Lyft and American Eagle Outfitters. Based in Pittsburgh and founded in 2006 as a spin-off of Carnegie Mellon University, it employs over 50 people with diverse skill sets including robotics, hardware development, electrical engineering, software development, industrial design, strategy and creative. The studio solves business challenges for clients with strategy-led creative inventions and marketing campaigns and then rapidly designs, engineers and builds working prototypes and products.

S_HIFT to tackle digital disruption for brands

Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific, IDC Asia Pacific and DHR International Asia Pacific have announced a new partnership called S_HIFT. The triumvirate has been formed to help clients tackle the ever-growing complexities of digital disruption in business. The collaboration works to unify the C-suite in the areas of branding and customer experience (Ogilvy), technology advisory (IDC) and talent leadership (DHR), to deliver a holistic approach to digital transformation.

New Business

Electrolux Group appoints Clarion as its UK PR agency.

Sony Music Entertainment India selects Hill+Knowlton Strategies to handle its PR.


Burson-Marsteller names Ramiro Prudencio CEO of EMEA and appoints Francisco Carvalho as Latin America CEO.

MEC Canada promotes Michele Pauchuk to CEO.


MediaCom named Agency Network of the Year at the Festival of Media Global Awards 2017.

MEC MENA takes home Grand Prix Campaign of the Year and a host of other awards at the Festival of Media MENA Awards 2017.

New Business Enquiries

Are you looking for an advertising or marketing services partner? WPP can help point you in the right direction — find out how.


Defining the ideal French President

Defining the ideal French President

One month before the first round of the French presidential election, five WPP firms – Landor, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Kantar Public, Kantar Media and Kantar TNS – combined their expertise to conduct a study to define the profile of the ideal French President. Based on the results of quantitative and qualitative research provided by Kantar Public, Landor defined the brand positioning of the ideal candidate by looking for the qualities and attributes that would resonate most with the French public.

Trump’s first 100 days

Trump’s first 100 days

Burson Marsteller’s US Public Affairs & Crisis Practice looks at what we can learn about political communications from President Trump’s first 100 days in office, and how these lessons can be applied to help businesses, institutions and organizations adapt to this new communications terrain.

The culture issue

The culture issue

The latest edition of MediaCom’s publication BLINK focuses on the deep cultural forces that define how societies and consumers think, feel and behave. These forces are outlined in Cultural Connections, a new study that has been commissioned in partnership with Itim International’s Hofstede Centre.

CPG brands

Most engaging CPG brands

Established personal care and food brands (rather than newcomers born in the age of social media) dominate the list of the most engaging consumer packaged goods brands in the United States, according to the latest Landor Pulse, an analysis conducted by global brand strategy and design firm Landor. Johnson & Johnson, Betty Crocker, Dove, Pillsbury, Gerber and Olay rank in the top 10.

WPP Reading Room

WPP Reading Room

Find the latest and best published thinking from Group professionals in WPP’s popular Reading Room: groundbreaking articles, research, books, videos, blogs and more.

Some recent features:
  • DIMENSION by Kantar Media is a recently published study offering a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities created by the increased availability of data, automation and changing consumer behaviour.

  • Speak Easy by J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group London and Mindshare Futures is a trends and insight report which explores voice technology and its implications for brands.

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