Martin Sorrell

New joiners for Sir Martin's firm

martin sorrell
Getty Images

A year ago, Sir Martin Sorrell stepped down from WPP - the world's largest advertising agency, which he had run for 33 years - after an internal investigation into claims of personal misconduct, which he denied.

WPP held its annual general meeting today - where Sir Martin's successor, Mark Read, told investors that the financial guidance for the group was unchanged.

Sir Martin, meanwhile, is announcing new appointments to the S4 Capital business he set up after his departure. Scott Spirit is joining as chief growth officer and Elizabeth Buchanan is joining as a non-executive director.

Mr Spirit joins from an artificial intelligence company, and had previously worked at WPP, while Ms Buchanan comes via her full-service digital ad agency, The White Agency, and roles at WPP, OMD Worldwide and most recently Rokt.

'Frenetic'

Sir Martin Sorrell
Getty Images

"New business activity is frenetic and the pipeline is still at twice the level of last year".

That's Sir Martin Sorrell describing his new business S4Capital.

He set up it after he left WPP, the advertising and marketing business he founded, a year ago after an internal investigation into claims of personal misconduct.

Revenue for the three months ending 31 March rose 38% to £40.9m, while gross profit rose 37% to £32.8m

Sorrell agency reacts to Dutch court action

Sir Martin Sorrell
Getty Images

Sir Martin Sorrell's new advertising agency S4 Capital has issued a statement after a Sunday Times story about a legal battle surrounding Media Monks, which S4 purchased in July last year.

Ex-Media Monks investor Rogier Schalken is taking the Dutch agency to court to see if he is entitled to a portion of the sale proceeds.

He wants to find out if Media Monks was already in talks with suitors when he sold his stake in the firm in November 2017.

"The matter is a dispute between former shareholders of Media Monks," says a statement from S4. "Any involvement of S4 Capital will only be as a witness in any action."

S4 continued: "The complainant was not a founder of Media Monks and was a 0.029% (or 29/1000ths of 1%) shareholder in Media Monks up until November 2017, when he sold his shareholding.

"Discussions between S4 Capital and Media Monks did not commence until well into 2018."

Sweet spot for Sorrell

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Martin Sorrell
Getty Images

Sir Martin Sorrell, who has set up a new advertising company S4 after leaving WPP last year, says his business is in the "sweet spot" of the digital market place.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, he said that digital advertising was growing at 20% or 30% a year compared with traditional advertising which is flat, or growing at around 2%.

The businesses uses customers' data and he said customers had to opt in. "They have to know exactly what they are letting themselves in for," he said.

He added that the five big tech companies - Google, Amazon, Facebook, Tencent and Alibaba - are "media companies, not just technology companies".

"They have to acknowledge it, which I think they are beginning to do, and they have put editorial staffs in place to monitor editorial content," he said.

Sorrell's loss

martin sorrell
Reuters

Sir Martin Sorrell's new business S4 has reported its first results. He set up the business after leaving WPP last year.

It made a £9.1m loss and employes 1,200 people in 16 countries.

It has new business assignments from Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Avon, Mondelez, Bayer, Electronic Arts and Electrolux, the company said.

"It is clear that the Company's purely digital model based on first party data fuelling digital content and programmatic is resonating with clients," Sir Martin said.

Martin Sorrell's S4 Capital confirms deal talks

Sir Martin Sorrell
Getty Images

Sir Martin Sorrell's marketing firm S4 Capital has responded to speculation that it may buy US adverting firm Mightyhive, saying it "confirms that, as it often is, it is in discussions with the owners of several digital marketing services businesses about a possible acquisition".

Martin Sorrell addresses WPP allegations
Sir Martin Sorrell has defended his behaviour while in charge of WPP in an exclusive interview with the BBC.