WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell has locked up the role of spokesman king of the advertising/PR conglomerate world, but it appears that Omnicom’s John Wren is set to make a grab at the Brit’s crown.
Wren starred at this week’s Morgan Stanley TMT conference. Compared to the cautious Sorrell, Wren was downright giddy about adland’s prospects for 2013.
Sorrell is a huge fan of what he calls “maxi- or mini-quadrennial events.” Communications firms cashed in this year on the London Olympics, UEFA EURO 2012 soccer championships in central and eastern Europe and the U.S. Presidential election.
At the conference, Sorrell took a peek at the 2013 mega-event cupboard and saw it is bare. “The odds are, as we look at 2013 that we have to be cautious. There are no events in 2013,” moaned Sorrell. He looks forward to 2014 with the staging of the World Cup in Brazil, Winter Olympics in Russiai and the mid-term Congressional elections in the United States.
Nonsense, says Wren, the pride of Brooklyn. He’s “increasingly positive” on the outlook for next year, according to a report in Reuters. Acknowledging that forecasters predict a low growth rate environment for 2013, Wren said “this isn’t a disaster,” He added that OMC isn’t hearing “horrible and scary things from clients.” Bully for Big John. It’s full speed ahead.
Wren, whose holding company owns Fleishman-Hillard, Porter Novelli and Ketchum, is looking to spend some cash for acquisitions in fast-growing markets such as Asia and South America and in the booming digital space. In fact, he expects to wrap up a couple of deals by the end of this year. Bully for Big John. It’s full speed ahead. It’s refreshing to see Wren move into the media spotlight. He should keep it up.
Sir Martin has had a very nice run. Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Ogilvy, RLM Finsbury and Porter Novelli are among subjects in Sorrell’s empire, which is relocating its Ireland tax dodge headquarters back to the U.K. on Jan. 1.