RIYADH: The advertising business in the Middle East will bounce back this year to peak levels last seen in 2008, said Martin Sorrell, chief executive officer of WPP, the world s largest advertising group.
The Middle East is one of the key growth markets for WPP, representing 3 percent of its business and generating about $400 million in revenue. WPP aims to increase its share of revenue from emerging markets to 33 percent from 26 percent now.
I expect 2010 to show significant improvement and get us back to where we were around 2008, Sorrell told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a conference.
Key WPP clients in Saudi Arabia include the world s largest chemicals company, Saudi Basic Industries Corp, and the government s foreign investment promotion agency SAGIA.
The growing parts of Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and central and eastern Europe account for about 26 percent, he said. The target is to get to a third … within the next five years.
For the group on the whole, which has the likes of Unilever, Vodafone, HSBC and Ford as clients, Sorrell repeated his forecast to see some sequential improvement and some positive growth in the second quarter of 2010.