WPP chief Sorrell shuns Twitter, Klout for personal brand– but likes mobile for clients

October 12, 2012

Advertising honcho Martin Sorrell is encouraging his clients to embrace the possibilities of mobile technology– but that doesn’t mean he is rushing to embrace every permutation of  it himself.

The WPP chief executive was in Silicon Valley last week, cozying up to technology bigwigs such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. But spending a few days in the technology heartland hasn’t much changed how Sorrell plans to personally communicate.

Unlike News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch, a prolific tweeter, Sorrell said in an interview he has no account on Twitter– the microblogging service which many people use on their mobile devices. Nor has he chosen to measure his digital influence on the digital-influence measurement service Klout.

Never mind his own habits. Sorrell is encouraging his clients to move advertising spending away from newspapers and magazines, where he believes they allocate too much cash, and toward mobile, especially given the growth of smartphones. Citing Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker’s much-discussed May presentation on Internet trends,  Sorrell said advertisers need to spend more on mobile, where consumers spend 10 percent of their media time but advertisers spend only around 1 percent of their budgets.

But Sorrell sympathized with slow-to-move clients on mobile. “It is so disruptive, and so fragmented, it is difficult for people to think about it in a meaningful way,” he said.

He classified Facebook as more of a “branding mechanism” than an advertising medium, but that didn’t stop him from buying one share each for his grandchildren in the social network at $32 apiece. They are now trading around $20.

No need to feel sorry for the Sorrell progeny. He has also bought them shares in top-performing stocks such as Apple and Berkshire Hathaway.


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