It's Not a Recovery Yet, Says Martin Sorrell

Video: Media Companies Down 10% and Declaring Victory

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NEW YORK ( -- It's not a recovery yet, particularly for media companies, according to Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, the largest agency holding company in the world.

"I'm not so sure that we're seeing that much of a recovery," Mr. Sorrell said from Davos, Switzerland, where he attended the annual World Economic Forum and was interviewed by Bloomberg. "We describe it as being less worse."

And media owners are celebrating because their business isn't as off as badly as before. "They're down 10% or 5%, and they're declaring victory," he said.

WPP itself -- whose portfolio includes ad companies Group M, Ogilvy & Mather and JWT -- is seeing growth but won't call the recession over just yet.

"The second quarter will see probably positive growth, but that's basically because we're cycling easier comparatives," Mr. Sorrell said. "Politicians always leap on easier comparatives or better comparatives ... but you can't declare victory until you see consistent gains year to year."

Power is continuing to shift to faster-growing countries and new media, he added.

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