Sir Martin Sorrell, the New York City based co-founder and long-serving CEO of WPP, a global communications company that employs over 140,000 people in 121 countries, is arguably the world’s most powerful advertising executive. Unlike many other CEOs of global enterprises, however, Sir Martin is sensitive and, in some ways, sympathetic to the disruption of the digital revolution. Not only does WPP have an increasingly powerful digital division, but Sorrell also hosts an annual unconference in Athens, Greece entitled Stream in which he invites 400 business and creative people from around the world to discuss the future of technology and communications.
Not only was I lucky enough to be invited to Stream earlier this month, but I also had the good fortune to interview Sir Martin on stage in Athens where he was disarmingly frank about the technological challenges facing WPP in the 21st century. While that conversation was off-the-record, I did manage to catch Sir Martin afterwards for a Techcrunch interview in which he spoke to me not only about the Internet and the future of advertising, but also about why free doesn’t work, how physical books and newspapers are history, and why the Chinese economic model is a “miracle.”
Sorrell: On Why Free Doesn’t Work
Sorrell: On The Future of Advertising
Sorrell: On Why China Works
Sorrell: On What Kind of Internet He Wants
Sir Martin Sorrell has been Group Chief Executive Officer of WPP Group PLC of Grey Global Group Inc. since its founding in 1986. Sorrell started his career as Marketing Associate of Glendinning Associates of Westport, Connecticut. In 1997, he was appointed as Ambassador of British Business by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and subsequently appointed to the Office’s Panel 2000 aimed at rebranding Britain abroad. In 1999, he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education and Employment...
WPP plc, together with its subsidiaries, offers various communications services worldwide. It provides global, national, and specialist advertising services; above- and below-the-line media planning, buying, and specialist sponsorship and branded entertainment services; and specializes in brand, consumer, media, and marketplace insight, as well as works with clients to generate and apply insights. The company also offers corporate, consumer, financial, and brand-building services; consumer, corporate, and employee branding and design services, covering identity, packaging, literature, events, training, and architecture; a...