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WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell on ‘math men,’ Don Draper, full service agencies and the power of print

This is a veritable cornucopia of delights: maybe it should be called ‘On the rocks with Johnny Hornby.’

The&Partnership’s Hornby has been out and about in Cannes (in cahoots with the Wall Street Journal) interviewing people at what is clearly his favourite setting, some otherwise deserted rocks.

First up is Sir Martin Sorrell no less, owner of 49 per cent of Hornby and co. And Sorrell, as ever, gives good interview.

There’s ‘mad men’ and ‘math men’ – no, he isn’t backing down and the interesting further observation that Don Draper would be “uncomfortable” with 75 per cent of what passes for advertising these days, in Sorrell’s world anyway.

There’s also a nod to the WSJ in his contention that print is undervalued today, particular the way it engages people more than most digital media. One reason, says Sorrell, is that it and other offline media are harder to measure than digital. And you can forget about full service agencies too.

Johnny also dragged Vice Media boss Shane Smith (WPP is an investor in Vice) to his version of Scylla (or should that be Charybdis) and he gives good interview too. Not least about ’embedding’ a Vice reporter with IS, perhaps the scoop of the century so far.

Who will Johnny nab next?

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