So stated Sir Martin Sorrell CEO of WPP, the world's largest advertising group. But it was short termism and his frustration at lacking full control of WPP that were more interesting. You could decipher the latter as he talked about Jeff Bezos and Rupert Murdoch and their ability to make long term strategic decisions because they control their companies. Amazon invested $16b last year in R&D and News Corp is looking at breaking up News to land Disney. Both long term investment decisions that it seemed to me that Sir Martin is unable to make and is therefore frustrated as a result.
In the mean time, Google and Facebook continue to grow their dominance of advertising budgets and develop practices and manipulate data free from many controls. When people are concerned about the government acting like Big Brother, it's odd how the tech companies we are all addicted to know everything about us. The positive note was that WPP invests 14 times more in people than things, as they celebrate the value of human capital to the marketing services industry.
The UK advertising industry has been performing considerably stronger than other geographies but that is because UK advertisers are reducing fixed capital investment and have switched their focus to advertising to sell their goods and services. Instead of investing in new factories, technologies and products, they are investing in selling more of what they have