During WPP’s fourth-quarter earnings presentation on Friday, the world’s largest advertising agency holding company shared two interesting slides on the current global market environment.
Advertising groups and their earnings are a good bellwether for the global economy — they work with hundreds of client spanning almost every sector and geography, so they have an informed insight as to what businesses are worried about and reasons to feel bullish about the forthcoming year.
These are the ten key global trends WPP outlined for 2016:
(You can click to enlarge that image, but if you’re on a mobile and it’s still too small, they are: 1. Shift to East, South, and South East; 2. Overcapacity and shortage of human capital; 3. Rise and rise of the web; 4. Growth of retail power; 5. Importance of internal communications; 6. Global and local structures; 7. Relative power of finance and procurement; 8. Growth of government; 9. Acceptance of social responsibility; 10. Industry consolidation.)
WPP also drilled down on some of the macro and micro economic trends its businesses are facing. The micro trends are probably more relevant to advertising and media businesses than most:
WPP reported like-for-like net sales growth of 3.3% in 2015. Pre-tax profit rose 2.8% to £1.49 billion ($2.1 billion,) while revenue rose 6.1% to £12.2 billion ($17.3 billion.) The company’s CEO Sir Martin Sorrell warned that “geopolitical issues remain top of business leaders’ concerns” in 2016.
WPP also provided a slide on how its performance in 2015 compared to its competitors:
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