Sir Martin Sorrell: WPP has ‘failed’ when first-party data is not integrated and leveraged


WPP’s chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell is hoping to better unite the holding company’s $5bn data business with its media arm, a push that he said is the result of marketers’ demands for more integrated offerings.

Speaking with Beet.TV at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Sorrell said that WPP is trying to bring its data investment management arm – which includes all of Kantar’s companies – closer to its media investment management services. According to Sorrell, media and data offerings make up roughly half of WPP’s revenue.

Sorrell said that some of WPP’s past pitch failures could be pinned on a lack of media and data integration.

“Where we’ve failed often is to integrate our offer, to lock it together, and leverage the data that we have,” he said. “It should be more united.”

He also noted that the company’s first-party data gives it a leg up on others who rely on third-party data.

“We’re producing each year $5bn worth of data and research which is of value,” he said. “Obviously there are some restrictions on what we can do in terms of confidentiality, but the knowledge that we’re building is very important. Given the restrictions on the use of data that Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and others put on the dissemination of their own data, that data is becoming more and more important.”

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