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WPP confident of growth potential in China market

By ZHENG XIN China Daily Updated: 2023-07-06
WPP employees work at the company's headquarters in London. [Photo provided to China Daily]

WPP, the largest marketing services company in the world, is betting on e-commerce, digital advertising and generative AI to propel its growth in China going forward, according to its top executive.

Mark Read, chief executive officer of WPP, said he is confident that despite challenges from falling global economic growth rates, WPP's business in China will bounce back later this year as the government continues to optimize its COVID-19 response measures and widens market access.

"WPP is confident in China's potential and will continue to invest in the market as Chinese brands continue to grow from strength to strength, providing numerous marketing opportunities," Read said.

As the government vows to attract foreign capital, there has been a surge in online and offline consumer demand, as China's 4.5 percent year-on-year increase in GDP in the first quarter of 2023 shows, he said.

Market research company Reportlinker said that the social media advertising market in China is forecast to touch $119.4 billion by 2030 despite volatile global financial markets and growing trade tensions worldwide.

GroupM, a leading media investment company globally, also expects China's total advertising revenue to increase by 7.9 percent to $150.6 billion this year, the second fastest top 10 market globally.

The company believes China will play a crucial role in the global advertising market and the growth strategies of many of the world's leading marketers, while its economic momentum will present global and local marketers with important opportunities for growth.

As China appears set for growth in 2023, positive momentum across multiple sectors is expected, including those covering automotive, luxury, media and entertainment, it said.

GroupM expects China's advertising revenue to grow by 6.4 percent next year.

WPP, which has been present in China for more than 30 years and is a leading marketing services company in the country, sees the emergence of "generative AI" in helping to create campaigns as a "massive opportunity to optimize creative work across the country".

With a network of over 110,000 employees across more than 100 countries, WPP's agencies work with many of the world's biggest corporations, including more than 60 percent of Fortune Global 500 and FTSE 100 companies.

WPP is already working with local players in China to use AI to produce personalized advertisements for local businesses, aiming to cement its position as the industry leader in the creative application of AI for the world's top brands, both in China and across the globe.

"WPP will also continue to benefit from a rise in e-commerce and growth in digital advertising in the country, which accounted for nearly 90 percent of China's total advertising spending in 2022," he said.

"As our fourth largest market globally, China will continue to play a crucial role in WPP's long-term growth strategy. We believe abundant opportunities will undoubtedly rise in the years ahead," Read said.