The UK should vote to remain part of the EU if it wants to compete with China and the US during the next 15 years of media change, Sir Martin Sorrell told delegates in his Dmexco opening address.
The founder and CEO of WPP hopes that when the UK goes to the polls before 2017 to vote in a referendum on whether or not to stay a member of the European Union, it will decide to remain part of a powerful economic partnership between 28 countries that is worth US$16 trillion collectively.
“The balance of power is changing. America is still responsible for US$16 trillion out of the US$72 trillion of worldwide GDP but China is worth US$10 trillion and rising and still presents the biggest potential increment rises in agency revenue,” Sorrell told delegates. “The challenge for Europe in the face of this major shift in economic power is to keep the EU together. If we stick together we have a combined US$16 trillion power-block, which is the same size as the US. Germany alone contributes around US$3 trillion.”
Sorrell was outlining his key factors that will impact the pace of media change over the next 15 years. Other elements included increased disruption, further shifts in the balance of power between retailers and manufacturers, the power of internal communications and the battle for talent.
He said: “Talent is a critical competitive factor across industries and the supply of that talent is a problem in the major industrial economies due to declining populations and the increased ageing of society. In this immigration crisis that we’re experiencing, one of the reasons that Germany, perhaps, is more conducive to immigration is that it needs people. If European GDP is to rise, we will have to rely on an influx of immigration. But the talent issue will be the defining competitive dynamic and recruiting, incentivising and keeping talent will grow ever-more important.”