Martin Sorrell speaking at panel in CES 2019 in Las Vegas on Tuesday, attributed that clients want faster, better and cheaper executions, wanting the holding company to act as one.
Sorrell posed that Industry desire to change agency and client models “has reached a very significant new height,” and he stressed that his new company S4 Capital is the answer to adland’s transformation.
He took another opportunity to dig at his former employer on stage at CES, slammed the fragmentation within holding group structures.
Greater collaboration across the network was something Sorrell was trying to implement at WPP with his horizontality strategy before he was forced out of the group.
He stressed the structure of S4 is the answer to adland’s transformation with client demand for new models reaching “new heights”.
“When you ask big clients what their biggest issue is, they say lack of speed. Clients say that about agencies as well. They’re too slow. Even the smaller, independent agencies don’t move as quickly as clients want. The premium is on speed,” he said.
With its recent acquisitions, S4’s model encompasses data, digital content as well as programmatic, and media planning and buying. Notably missing from the network is a business with the same creative talent and legacy as an agency like Ogilvy or Y&R, now VMLY&R.
Sorrell was joined by Wesley terHaar, co founder at MediaMonks, which became part of S4 six months ago, and Pete Kim, CEO at MightyHive, a programmatic company that he acquired in 2018.
Kim echoed Sorrell’s sentiment about fragmentation of networks, declaring it’s the “enemy of speed”.
“We see the opportunity to unite the creative and media function in a way that hasn’t been done for decades,” he said.
On MediaMonks deal Sorrell said he acquired MediaMonks and MightyHive in a “half-cash, half-shares” deal, and while the earn-out provides longevity, the structure means that everyone has an economic as well as professional commitment to S4’s success.