Martin Sorrell has always been a vehement and very public “remainer” in this whole Brexit fiasco. However, the 74-year-old appears to have resigned himself to the inevitable and urged the UK and its politicians to make the most of the impending exit from the European Union.
Speaking on Bloomberg’s business network yesterday, the former WPP boss, who now runs digital ad firm S4 Capital, argued a post-EU UK should work to establish a free-market, pro-business economy akin to the Asian financial hub.
“I look for a Singapore on steroids. I look for a regulation-light, tax-light UK economy open for business in a way we haven’t seen before,” Sorrell said in the interview.
“It has to be the home of Google, Amazon and Facebook, not the regulatory nightmare,” he added.
Sorrell argued that the UK had to make the most of a bad situation and the country had to be a “much more attractive” investment destination in the long term.
“Once Brexit is out of the way, I think there will be reinvestment,” Sorrell said before adding that it could take another decade to see any benefits.
“This is not a short term process. It’s a very big shift that’s needed and it’s going to take a long time to get it right, so slow but steady will be the orders of the day,” he said.
Sorrell added that the key for the UK was to reduce its reliance on Europe and open up to global markets.
He added that despite the pall of gloom created by Brexit and the elections in December, the UK ad market had remained remarkably resilient considering.
“In the last three years I think people have cut their plans for fixed capital investment and have invested in variable marketing spend in the theory that they’ll maintain or increase market share,” he said. “So actually, spending in advertising and marketing services hasn’t been bad.”
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