Chief Executive Officer, WPP

Sir Martin

The continuing proliferation of creative awards is a cause for some concern.  I’m certainly proud of the fact that WPP companies continue to win more than their fair share of them but, as always, inflation devalues the currency while the cost of participation soars.

One accidental by-product of creative awards goes generally unremarked: they may excuse us from deciding for ourselves what is creative and what is not.

It’s just too easy to say that anything that’s won a creative award is clearly creative – while implying the obviously nonsensical corollary that work that goes unrecognised clearly isn’t.

We shouldn’t let the existence of creative awards allow us to sub-contract our evaluation of creativity.  We need to make those judgements ourselves, on the ground, every day, on behalf of our clients.  And we need our clients to make those judgements, too.

In this year’s excellent WPPED Cream selection, some will have won external recognition and some will not.  I don’t know the difference and I don’t want to know.  I only know that in each case, each client task has been met with invention.  In each case, creativity has made communication more effective, made brands more desirable, made a client’s budget stretch further; or maybe all three.

I hope you marvel, as I do, at the range and the variety of the work on show. My congratulations, as always, go to those talented people who practise the alchemy that creativity demands; and my thanks and appreciation to our clients for providing our companies not only with the opportunities to do such work but with the means to make it real.


Various Work

About WPP

WPP is the world’s largest communications services group with billings of US$73 billion and revenues of US$19 billion.

Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs over 200,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices across 113 countries. For more information, visit

WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the sixth year running. WPP was also named, for the fifth consecutive year, the World's Most Effective Holding Company in the 2016 Effie Effectiveness Index, which recognizes the effectiveness of marketing communications. In 2016 WPP was recognised by Warc 100 as the World’s Top Holding Company (second year running).

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