This Timeline Shows How WPP Acquired Its Way to Fame and Notoriety Over 3 Decades

Martin Sorrell's shopping spree started in 1986

Sir Martin Sorrell, S4 Capital executive chairman, built WPP over 33 years. Sean T. Smith for Adweek

WPP has grown into the world’s largest communications service company by gobbling up a slew of advertising and PR firms the world over. Under CEO Martin Sorrell’s leadership, WPP grew famous (more often infamous) for staging some of the largest takeovers the advertising and communications industry has ever seen—notably JWT in 1987 and Ogilvy in 1989, both of which were hostile raids and helped earn Sorrell the moniker, “the Ogre of Madison Avenue.” WPP’s 2000 acquisition of Young & Rubicam was the biggest takeover in advertising history.

@UpperEastRob robert.klara@adweek.com Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.
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