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The Advertising Century

Martin Sorrell

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Martin Sorrell
(1945- )
WPP Group, London

At Saatchi & Saatchi (1975-1986), Sorrell, "the third brother," designed and carried out Saatchi's legendary agency acquisitions. A Londoner with degrees in economics from Cambridge and Harvard universities, financial whiz Sorrell privately invested in WPP in 1985, a British wire shopping cart maker, and joined it full-time in '86. There he began to acquire "below-the-line" advertising-related companies and in '87 stunned the agency world with his $566 million "hostile" takeover of J. Walter Thompson Co. Sorrell followed this in '89 with another dramatic hostile $825 million buy of Ogilvy & Mather, and today stands atop one of the world's largest marketing service/advertising group with more than 40 companies in 83 nations.

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