Mark Read says “worst is behind us” as WPP readies half-time 2020 numbers

WPP CEO Mark Read has been telling CNBC that “the worst is behind us” as WPP and its peers grapple with pandemic-induced cutbacks in client spend and (largely) empty offices.

The timing is somewhat unusual as WPP reports its first half numbers on August 27 and, usually, CEOs stay silent in such periods (although we don’t know when the interview was conducted.) The WPP share price has recovered steadily from its low earlier this year although it’s still way below its peak when the company was valued at almost £20bn against its current £7.6bn.

Which suggests that the market thinks its forthcoming numbers will be OK. In terns of organic growth Omnicom was down 23% in Q2, Dentsu and Publicis down around the 13% mark and Interpublic 9.9%. Anything in single figures for WPP would be a spectacular return for Read.

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About Stephen Foster

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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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