Simon English: Highly paid Sir Martin Sorrell is no advert for WPP

 

Outlook Is Sir Martin Sorrell worth £13m a year? Is the £200m or so he has made in his 27 years at the company fair enough for his graft and talent?

Well, perhaps. But if you were a client of Sorrell's enormous advertising business, you might be tempted to think that for a man supposedly so skilled at reading and influencing public opinion, he has been remarkably dense.

Perception often trumps reality. Indeed, his entire business is based on persuading folk that which of two near-identical cars you pick says much about who you are.

At the moment, the very wide perception is that Sorrell is overpaid. That tax thing isn't doing him any favours either.

Let's say Royal Bank of Scotland decides it needs a fresh advertising campaign, and invites WPP to pitch. Isn't is possible that the thought occurs to RBS chief executive Stephen Hester that, since he had to give up his bonus this year in the face of public anger at executive pay, shouldn't one of the supposedly smartest ad men in the game have at least considered showing some discretion?

We'll pick the other guys, whoever they are, Hester concludes...

s.english@independent.co.uk

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