Chancellor calls on WPP to return to UK

The Chancellor George Osborne has called on Sir Martin Sorrell to bring WPP’s headquarters back to the UK.

Sir Martin Sorrell
Sir Martin Sorrell

The agency network is currently headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, but Sir Martin has indicated that the agency network would seriously consider returning its headquarters to the UK if overseas tax laws changed. Currently, UK companies are charged corporate taxes for all overseas subsidiaries.

Addressing the Times CEO Summit in London yesterday (27 June), George Osborne said: “I want to reform the corporate tax system so that international companies locate in Britain rather than leave Britain”, pointing to WPP as an example of this.

Sir Martin has welcomed the proposed policy and told Marketing Week that he was “delighted to hear the Chancellor’s comment and to hear him and the Prime Minister stress that Britain must be open for business.”

Osborne said he will publish a road map this summer detailing his plans to reform the corporate tax system for international companies.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister, David Cameron warned that Britain had to “earn its way in the world” again if it was to remain prosperous.

He said too many people were under a “delusion” that future prosperity was guaranteed and the country needed to rebuild its economy or risk sacrificing its seat at the “top table”.

In April, WPP raised its full-year revenue forecast to 2% growth after reporting an upturn in client marketing spend in the first quarter.

Last week, Sorrell and Unilever’s chief marketing officer Keith Weed clashed briefly over social media when the WPP chief stated that “traditional media is still the best way to build brands, and online about promotional”.

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