|May 6, 2009|
|Did Martin Sorrell Kill Portfolio Magazine?|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Of course not! |
Massive negative reader feedback to a photo-illustration of WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell is not why Conde Nast pulled the plug on Portfolio Magazine. The sour economy killed the business/lifestyle mag.
The final Portfolio features a "Sorrell Squared” work of art with Sorrell standing in Times Square in front of multiple billboards flashing his image. Stern, shadowy, smiling and pensive Sir Martins preside over Times Square.
Matthew Malone interviewed Sorrell at WPP’s New York headquarters. The chief fittingly sat “in front of a painting of a knight on horseback trampling an adversary.” Take that, Maurice.
Some interview takeaways:
• WPP, the pride of Dublin, isn’t cutting prices much, though “there have been one or two competitors who’ve cut their prices quite violently in order to win business.”
• Omnicom is WPP’s strongest competitor Interpublic “is in a weak position,” but stronger than last year.
• Publicis Groupe, if it gets the chance, would love to buy IPG.
• “Brand America” is friendlier under President Obama. That could change.
• Students should learn Chinese and Portuguese (Brazil is not doing badly).
The photo-illustration is what makes the article click. This blogger couldn’t begin to fathom a similar photo featuring Omnicom’s Wren or Interpublic’s Roth standing in the middle of Piccadilly Circus. It takes a bigger than life person like Sorrell or Publicis Maestro Maurice Levy, the toast of Paris, to pull off the photo spread.
An idea for Sorrell: get reprint rights from Portfolio and distribute the photo-illustration to WPP’s 109K staffers as a year-end gift. A personalized autograph would be a nice touch.
How's that for a morale booster?
(Image via Portfolio)
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