TRENDSETTER: Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP Chairman, Sees Latin American Advertising Growth
Sir Martin Sorrell is always quotable -- whether in remarks at Cannes, at the opening of the IAA World Congress in Moscow or when addressing analysts. He is consistent in his comments about the growth and importance of Latin America to both WPP and the advertising world.
According to Sir Martin Sorrell, "There is a shift in economic power from the West to the East (China and India) and to the South (Latin America and the Middle East and Africa)."
While considering how economics will affect marketing strategy and advertising spending in the next several years, he adds, "The parts of the world that are going to grow fastest are Asia Pacific -- (less Japan/Australia), Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. The recent World Cup is already changing the perception of Africa from a Continent of Challenge to a Continent of Opportunity.
Next, we'll see the Decade of Brazil and Latin America given the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics Games in Rio."
He underscored that Brazil is "front and center" with the other fast-growth markets like China, India and Russia, and well as the Next Eleven, or those countries identified by Goldman Sachs as having the greatest economic potential in the 21st century. Mexico is on that list and the only N11 country in the region. (The other N11 markets include Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh,Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, and The Philippines.)
"The world is moving at different speeds. We must become accustomed to the fact that growth is very different in different parts of the world."
Yet, he emphasizes that the current economic turnaround in the United States cannot be ignored. "Never write off America," he says. "It is big and resourceful with a tremendous capacity for entrepreneurship. It has great human and natural resources. It is also a natural immigrant culture that serves as a great engine to prosperity. Increasingly the future will be about US AND China. . . and the other fast growth countries will play increasingly important roles."
Martin Sorrell also expects to see one-third of WPP's revenues to come from faster-growth markets in the next three to four years. (Today these markets represent 27% of WPP's revenues.) He also believes that clients will soon invest up to 20% of their budgets in new media. Once they achieve that level, he expects the goal posts will move again.