WPP boss Mark Read on working through the pandemic and the dreaded ageism

Here’s WPP CEO Mark Read telling Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi what he thinks about working in lockdown, returning to the office (WPP has a lot of them of course), diversity and, on about 19 minutes, the dreaded ageism which landed him in hot water a few weeks ago.

Read says ageism is a “challenging” matter the ad business (which means it’s a problem that hasn’t been sorted yet) but suggests that training can be the answer for, in effect, re-equipping older people with some of the skills he says they now need.

Interesting contrast to predecessor Sir Martin Sorrell’s much more frequent broadcast appearances in which SMS, when not unveiling his latest headline-catching soundbite, could turn prickly as well. Although this is hardly an inquisition.

That’s not nice guy Read. Do such people win in business? He seems confident enough.

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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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