WPP & News Corp growth hints at tentative post-pandemic bounceback

There were huge bouncebacks for WPP and News Corp last week, as the world begins to take tentative steps out of the pandemic and back towards normality. Meanwhile, it was less good news for Amazon, which was fined €746m (US $887 million) for failure to comply with European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). All that and more as we kick off another week in the wonderful world of media… 

WPP bounces back: The proverbial ‘canary in the cage’ showed its first signs of returning to rude health last week, when WPP published its 2021 Interim results. Q2 revenues (less pass through costs) were up 19.3% on the previous year, while across the first half of the year overall the company said that revenues had returned to pre-pandemic levels. There was also a strong new business performance, with US $2.9 billion net new billings in H1.

As does News Corp: The media giant released its full results for the fiscal year 2021 last week. Revenues were US $9.36 billion, a 4% increase compared to $9.01 billion in the prior year, reflecting a 30% increase in the fourth quarter. There was a net income of $389 million compared to a net loss of $(1.55) billion in the prior year, which included non-cash impairment charges of $1.69 billion. Total Segment EBITDA was $1.27 billion compared to $1.01 billion in the prior year.

Amazon not so lucky: While more traditional media and advertising businesses could be seen to be taking tentative steps out of the Covid-19 downturn last week, the clampdown on media tech companies continued, with this time Amazon finding itself in trouble. The Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (Commission Nationale pour la Protection des Données – CNPD) fined the company €746m (US $887 million) for failure to comply with European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Elle kicks off annual training scheme: Elle UK is kicking off its annual mentoring scheme with the September 2021 issue, reiterating the brand’s commitment to opening the door to a more inclusive new generation of creative talent. Working with The Social Mobility Commission, the brand identified and actively recruited students from a combination of medium and cold spots (disadvantaged areas) from across the country, including Norwich, Blackburn, Solihull and Caerphilly and Inverness. Of the areas in England that Elle UK has drawn students from, Norwich and Blackburn are social mobility cold spots.

You can read the full article on the FIPP website here.