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Adscam reveals the ‘secrets’ of WPP earn-outs

My friend George Parker has been musing about Sir Martin Sorrell’s many deals at WPP, prompting this response on WPP earn-outs from correspondent Jane Don’t (below pic).
Sir-Martin-Sorrell--009

Jane Don’t said…
It’s quite a simple 10-step programme George:

1. “Buy” a company using WPP options, with a five year earn-out.
2. Sack the overheads, generating an immediate Revenue accretion, earning the Founder his first cash bonus.
3. Mentor the Founder to open lots of new offices, filling the empty picnic tables in the WPP office parks while increasing the overall earn-out hurdle.
4. Tell the Founder he only need to go Horizontal with the Network heads that will introduce him to their big brands, headlining at WPP Date Night.
5. Let the Network heads fuck him in the ass, destroying his margin using RTB (programmatic ‘real time bidding’) in the Media Investment team system.
6. Sack the Founder for failing to achieve his 2QRF.
7. Promote the remaining lead developer to Chief Revenue Officer and send her to Stream (WPP’s annual conference) as a reward for her loyalty.
8. Announce that the division will now be a part of Possible Worldwide.
9. Rinse.
10. Repeat.

There are other diverting comments too on George’s Adscam piece. I particularly like the one recommending that you forget all this nonsense and start Snapchat instead – selling it for $2.1bn, of course.

PS. Did you see the reports that Facebook’s UK employees trousered an average of £210,000 last year? And the company paid just over £4000 in UK tax. It must be a workers’ co-operative!

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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