WPP applies for £600m of govt support to ease Covid impact

Despite being relatively bullish about WPP’s results today, the group’s CEO Mark Read has told The Telegraph that he’s sanctioned an application for £600m of potential support under the government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility.

WPP is not alone in this. A number of major retailers, including WPP client Marks & Spencer, and leisure brands such as easyJet, have also applied for the CCFF loan from the Treasury and the Bank of England, designed to help companies to pay wages and suppliers while their cash flow is severely disrupted.

There’s no shame in getting help where you can, and only companies deemed to have been investment grade – at low risk of default – on 1st March can access the facility. Big firms can borrow up to £1bn, and two of the Big Four accountancy firms have also applied to the CCFF, according to the Financial Times.

WPP’s results today showed that the group was having a decent first quarter until Covid-19 struck, winning $1bn of new business. Read said that a fifth of pitches have been cancelled, but commended his staff for “a decade’s worth of innovation in a few short weeks.”

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.