Profile: WPP

1- Name of NGO:


2- Brief & Mission:

WPP functions as a prominent holding company engaged in an array of industries, including communications, advertising, public relations, and various other sectors. It holds the distinction of being recognized as the largest global advertising agency group. WPP’s strategic emphasis encompasses areas such as communications, experience, commerce, and technology.

Recent revelations have brought to light WPP’s decision to forge ahead with the creation of a novel media joint venture within the confines of the Kingdom. This strategic maneuver underscores WPP’s proactive approach to exploring fresh opportunities and leveraging evolving landscapes.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

Saudi Arabia has been enlisting the services of PR and marketing firms to propel its 2030 vision strategy into the spotlight. To effectively publicize this initiative, Saudi Arabia has allocated substantial financial resources, amounting to millions of dollars, to enhance its positive image. In line with this endeavor, the Kingdom has engaged a London-based entity, WPP, to collaborate on establishing a novel media joint venture within its borders.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

The company offered its services to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to promote Vision 2030. This situation clearly highlights Pillsbury’s active engagement with the Saudi monarchy, aiming at strategic political objectives while establishing direct connections with the Saudi royal family.

5- Sources of Funding:

With a global reach, WPP is already catering to an extensive clientele both on a global and local scale in the Middle East. Boasting a staggering workforce of 100,000 individuals across the world, the company has reported impressive revenues of $17.9 billion. According to sources, WPP has reportedly garnered a substantial sum from its engagements with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

6- Activities:

Launching under the name ICG Saudi Arabia, this newly established entity is set to offer an array of communication and media services within the borders of Saudi Arabia. WPP, as a major player in this venture, will hold a significant 70 percent ownership stake in the joint venture company. Initial operations of ICG are poised to cater to clients through renowned subsidiaries including Ogilvy, MediaCom, Mindshare, Wavemaker, and Grey. The trajectory of this venture foresees the inclusion of additional brands as new prospects arise, as highlighted in the official statement.

ICG Saudi’s emergence creates a fresh platform for WPP to introduce more of its diverse brands into the Kingdom’s burgeoning landscape. This move aligns with the Kingdom’s rapid expansion within the media sector, a significant facet of the broader reforms outlined in the Vision 2030 strategy. At its core, this partnership between WPP and the Kingdom is anticipated to play a role in the empowerment of Saudi youth, contributing to the creation of new job opportunities that cater to the evolving needs of the Saudi market.

7- NGO Leadership:

Roberto Quarta serves as the Chairman of WPP.

8- Controversy:

Public relations (PR) firms that operate in support of authoritarian regimes frequently encounter the delicate task of juggling their profitable commitments, including the promotion of fabricated positive images. When foreign consultants operate within Saudi Arabia, they may sometimes lack a comprehensive grasp of the local culture and the potential for an authoritarian government to manipulate their efforts for its own gain. WPP’s involvement in initiatives on behalf of the Saudi government has stirred considerable controversy.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:https://www.wpp.com
  • Address:UK
  • Email: tom.waldron@wpp.com

10- Classification/Blacklist:

WPP’s substantial engagement with Saudi Arabia, aimed at promoting a positive image in the context of Vision 2030, has drawn to a close. This association persists despite the Kingdom’s violations of fundamental rights and the unfortunate incident involving the death of a journalist. Pillsbury’s inclusion in a list of entities undergoing scrutiny is due to its affiliations with the Saudi government.

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