Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. What people are talking about today: WPP has entered the post-Martin Sorrell era. Now what? "Takeover vultures could soon circle, eyeing portions of WPP's business ripe for the taking," Ad Age's E.J. Schultz and Megan Graham write. That's what some analysts are suggesting. The company's market research business is seen as one potential asset that could be shed. As Liberum Capital Limited said in a report:
"Sir Martin could arguably be called the glue that bound much of WPP together. With his departure, we think the chances of significant chunks of the business being sold off have dramatically increased."
Sorrell spent over three decades building the world's largest ad firm, then suddenly resigned Saturday amid a thus-far-undisclosed investigation by the board for personal misconduct. He was fond of plugging his vision of "horizontality," meaning he wanted the company's various units to work closer together across disciplines, from media to creative and beyond, to serve clients better. As the empire-builder, he naturally wanted to hold his kingdom together and prove its business sense. Now that he's gone, that empire looks more unwieldy. (And can we please stop using the awkward word 'horizontality' now? Please?)