Anybody else annoyed by holding company honchos as pseudo thought leaders? WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell is a particular pest, posting LinkedIn perspectives and pontificating at professional powwows—yet ultimately offering zero insightful, deviceful or useful opinions. While speaking at the 42nd annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Sorrell declared, “If anybody in this room thinks life is easy, think again.” Wow, thanks for the newsflash, Marty. Then again, life has got to be slightly easier when you’re making 780 times more loot than the average peon in your corporate empire.
At the event for UBS—emphasis on BS—Sorrell also “criticized companies for short-term thinking and focusing more on cutting costs rather than growing profits,” according to coverage from The New York Post. Um, Sorrell is a glorified financial wonk whose career actions have turned the advertising industry into an amalgamated automaton where all key decisions are scored with quarterly P&L reports and cold-blooded efficiencies in mind.
Other recent revelations resulting from Sorrell fondly gazing at his crystal balls:
• Explaining how WPP integrated digital into its institutional innards. Quick—name five digital powerhouses in the WPP collective. Okay, how about two or three…? ‘Nuff said.
• Complaining that Cannes has become “a superficial bash that has gotten away from its roots as an agency ad competition and turned into a crass show of wealth.” After sharing his viewpoint, Marty was photographed at a Cannes soirée alongside Robin Thicke.
• Admitting WPP doesn’t recruit people very well—and Sorrell was really only talking about White people, as his holding company doesn’t recruit minorities at all.
If Sir Martin’s compensation for 2015 were tied to the quality of his thought leadership, he’d record the greatest pay cut in the history of mankind.