Mark Read
Mark Read

WPP chief Mark Read reported a 12.1 percent jump in 2021 revenues to $13.8B due to a strong demand for digital marketing, media, e-commerce and technology services.

Sparked by the fastest organic growth in more than 20 years, WPP hit its 2023 revenue target in 2021, according to Read.

WPP expanded ties with Unilever, Bayer and Google and picked up new assignments from TD Bank, AstraZeneca, L’Oréal, Under Armour and Beiersdorf.

Coca-Cola named WPP its global marketing network partner, covering creative, data and media in more than 200 countries.

Read said WPP made “substantial strategic progress, creating the world’s leading board-level communications firm through the merger of Finsbury Glover Hering and Sard Verbinnen” and adding capabilities in artificial intelligence, commerce and technology services.

On the PR front, the BCW, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Ogilvy and FGH operation enjoyed an 11.5 percent jump in 2021 like-for-like revenues to $1.2B. The unit was up 15.1 percent in Q4.

“We have seen a very strong performance from our public relations firms last year,” Read told O’Dwyer’s. “They are a strategically critical part of WPP and increasingly important to our offer and to our new business wins.”

Read said WPP entered 2022 with “a strong balance sheet, good momentum from new business wins and a comprehensive client offer.”

He projected 2022 revenue growth in the five percent range.