STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Can the king of advertising make a rapid comeback?

Can the former king of advertising stage a rapid comeback?Martin Sorrell, the founder and former CEO of global...

Posted: May 30, 2018 2:42 PM
Updated: May 30, 2018 2:42 PM

Can the former king of advertising stage a rapid comeback?

Martin Sorrell, the founder and former CEO of global advertising giant WPP, is back in business a month after he resigned amid an investigation into "personal misconduct."

Sorrell announced Wednesday he has taken control of Derriston, a listed shell company in London, with the aim of transforming it into a "multinational communication services business."

The advertising titan, who was formerly the highest paid CEO in the United Kingdom, has poured -40 million ($53 million) of his own money into the new venture.

Sorrell will be chief executive of the company, which will change its name to S4 Capital.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday, investors have promised another -150 million ($199 million) to help fund growth and the purchase of other businesses.

But analysts said it's unlikely that Sorrell will be able to replicate the scale of success he enjoyed at WPP.

"The marketplace is very competitive and budgets [are] under pressure, so [it] certainly won't be without its challenges," said Roddy Davidson, a media analyst at Shore Capital.

"[Sorrell] is more likely to succeed with a smaller, more flexible and focused offering -- an approach that he has already hinted at," Davidson added.

Related: Ad legend Martin Sorrell steps down as CEO of WPP

Sorrell, 73, built WPP over the three decades by bringing more than 400 agencies including Ogilvy & Mather and Grey Group under its corporate umbrella.

But the industry has changed dramatically, and analysts said Sorrell will need to choose his new targets carefully.

"A lot of the consolidation in the industry has already happened ... he will have to be selective," said Liberum media analyst Ian Whittaker.

Data and content

Sorrell hinted he wants to focus on digital advertising, saying there are "significant opportunities for development in technology, data and content."

"When he was the head of WPP, he was a strong defender of the idea that agencies need data ... WPP was the only agency group that had a significant ownership of market research and data assets," said Whittaker.

Related: WPP shows why it's a bad time to be an ad exec

Sorrell first acquired a stake in WPP in 1985 when the company manufactured wire shopping baskets and had a market cap of around -1 million.

The executive, a frequent guest at Davos and on cable news, transformed the company into a -16 billion ($21 billion) venture with clients including Ford, Unilever and Procter & Gamble.

"Given his profile and track record I am sure he will be able to attract a solid base of clients providing that he assembles a strong team," Davidson said.

The findings of the investigation by an independent counsel into Sorrell have not been announced publicly. A WPP spokesperson said Wednesday that "certain aspects" of the inquiry were shared with Sorrell's advisers prior to his resignation.

Sorrell has said he "unreservedly" denies any inappropriate action.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320174

Reported Deaths: 7390
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22294271
Hinds20755424
Harrison18450317
Rankin13923282
Jackson13733249
Madison10273225
Lee10063176
Jones8473167
Forrest7837153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6523150
Lamar636288
Lafayette6314121
Washington5427138
Bolivar4841133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4606148
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425973
Monroe4162136
Union415877
Neshoba4065180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387687
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3373111
Alcorn327474
Scott320374
Yazoo314571
Adams308486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma299084
Simpson298689
Tippah292268
Prentiss284261
Leake272374
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252451
Newton249064
Tishomingo232369
Winston230282
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210659
Holmes190574
Stone188733
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167940
Smith164134
Walthall135447
Greene131834
Lawrence131224
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108334
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549013

Reported Deaths: 11311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810461571
Mobile42145831
Madison35718525
Tuscaloosa26179458
Shelby25626254
Montgomery25089614
Baldwin21901314
Lee16287176
Calhoun14724327
Morgan14639285
Etowah14183364
Marshall12454230
Houston10791287
Elmore10301214
Limestone10188157
St. Clair10161251
Cullman9958201
Lauderdale9612250
DeKalb8977190
Talladega8462184
Walker7341280
Autauga7242113
Jackson6953113
Blount6950139
Colbert6415140
Coffee5638127
Dale4930116
Russell454941
Chilton4478116
Franklin431782
Covington4279122
Tallapoosa4144155
Escambia401880
Chambers3728124
Dallas3610158
Clarke353161
Marion3245107
Pike314578
Lawrence3134100
Winston283572
Bibb268564
Geneva258481
Marengo250665
Pickens237062
Barbour234559
Hale227178
Butler224671
Fayette218962
Henry194443
Randolph187644
Cherokee187345
Monroe180641
Washington170739
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156357
Cleburne153644
Lamar146937
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124542
Conecuh113630
Coosa111629
Perry108626
Sumter105832
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 74°
Columbus
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 72°
Oxford
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
High pressure still tries to hang on to our area on Thursday, however a weak warm front will change the dominance of high pressure. This weak cold front will give us a chance for some isolated showers and thunderstorms at times.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather