WPP is investigating an allegation of personal misconduct against its chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell. The world's largest advertising agency said its board had appointed independent counsel to conduct the investigation. "The allegations do not involve amounts which are material to WPP," the firm said in a statement on Tuesday. Mr Sorrell responded on Wednesday, saying he rejected any allegation of financial impropriety "unreservedly". "Reports in the media have stated that WPP is investigating an allegation of financial impropriety by me, specifically as to the use of company funds," Sir Martin said in a statement.
The mad men and women of the ad industry have plenty of reasons to toss and turn at night. Money is increasingly trickling from television commercials to digital media -- a market that Facebook and Google currently have in a duopolistic chokehold. Inter-agency competition is at a fever pitch. Unconventional upstarts are eating their lunch. If Don Draper were around today, there's a good chance he'd work at Facebook.
The chief executive of the world's largest advertising agency, WPP, is stepping down with immediate effect. Sir Martin Sorrell has been at the helm of the company for 33 years since taking control in 1986. The chairman of WPP, Roberto Quarta, will oversee the agency until a new CEO is appointed. Sir Martin said his position at WPP had been a passion for so long but it was in "the best interests of the business" for him to resign. He had been under investigation by WPP but had rejected any claim of financial impropriety.
Opec struggles to speak with a single voice these days, so it was always a wobbly assumption that the cartel of oil producers would be able to agree a deal with non-members, such as Russia, to curb output. The weekend talks in Doha fell apart over a single issue. Saudi Arabia wanted Iran, its big regional rival, to be included in a deal to freeze production at January levels. Iran, freshly returned to international markets after the lifting of sanctions, wasn't interested. Its priority is revenues, at almost any oil price, and recovery of lost market share.
Facebook is facing calls for greater transparency and oversight after admitting widespread errors in the way it measures advertising activity, as the social media company finds itself under increased pressure to clean up its act over a number of issues including distributing "fake news". On Wednesday, Facebook, which had already angered advertisers when it admitted it made significant measurement errors around video ads in September, said that an internal inquiry found new problems with key measurement metrics. Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, the world's biggest advertising group, said that the latest revelations were clear proof that marketers have been right to call for more independent oversight of Facebook metrics. He said it was a "clear example that referee and player can't be same person and that marking your own homework doesn't work". "Media owners, clients and agencies are all dissatisfied with established measurement methods.