It seems that we’re supposed to call Burma Myanmar these days – a nifty bit of rebranding for a country that was an international pariah a year or so ago.
Anyway, where democracy (or some of it) leads WPP follows and the globe-trotting marcoms group has acquired a stake in Myanmar’s Today Advertising. The company based in Yangon employs 60 people and will be incorporated into WPP’s Asia Pacific region which has 42,060 people now and generates about a quarter of the group’s revenues.
WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell said in an interview over the weekend that, as far as he was concerned, WPP could operate anywhere apart from Iran (he seemed to have forgotten North Korea).
On the same subject of countries with a smattering of democracy, WPP’s Possible Worldwide digital agency network has also increased its footprint in Russia, buying a majority stake in Moscow agency Grape. Grape employs 124 people and its clients include SABMiller and Henkel. Its 2011 revenue was about $14 million.
WPP employs around 1,900 people in Russia and currently generates revenues of over $200 million annually there. Across the Central and Eastern European markets collectively, WPP says it employs almost 6,000 people with revenues of about $600 million.