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WPP plc facts for kids

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WPP plc
Public limited company
Traded as LSEWPP
FTSE 100 Component
Founded 1971; 50 years ago (1971)
(Wire and Plastic Products plc)
(Sorrell acquisition and entry into advertising)
Founder Martin Sorrell (as an advertising company)
Headquarters London, England, UK
Area served
Key people
  • Template:Wd-chairperson
  • Template:Wd-ceo
Revenue £13,234.1 million (2019)
Operating income
£1,295.9 million (2019)
£707.1 million (2019)

WPP is a UK based international communications, advertising, public relations, technology and trade holding company headquartered in London, England. As of 2019, it was the largest advertising company in the world. WPP owns many companies including advertising, public relations, media and market research such as AKQA, BCW, Essence Global, Finsbury, Gray, GroupM, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, Kantar Group, Mindshare, Ogilvy, Wavemaker, Wunderman Thompson and VMLY & R. It is one of the Big Four agency companies, along with Publicis, Interpublic Group of Companies and Omnicom. WPP is primary listed on the London Stock Exchange and is also listed on the FTSE 100. It is secondary listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Roberto Quarta is the chairman of the company. Mark Reed is its CEO.


The company was founded as Wire and Plastic Products plc in 1971 to manufacture wire and plastic shopping baskets. In 1985, Martin Sorrell, looking for a listed company through which to create a global marketing services company, bought a controlling stake in it. In the 1980s, WPP began expanding due to buying other companies. In the following years, WPP was buying dozens of companies every year. In January 1987, the company bought Scott Stern Associates, then Scotland's largest design and advertising company. In the same year (1987), the company bought J. Walter Thompson (including JWT, Hill & Knowlton and MRB Group) for $ 566 million. In 1988, the company was registered on NASDAQ (and later transferred to a secondary listing on NYSE). In 1989, it bought the Ogilvy Group for $ 864 million.


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