Recovery Ahead? Publicis, Omnicom Are Positive While WPP, IPG Stay Cautious

An interesting divide has emerged between the large holding company chiefs over whether the ad economy is entering a recovery or not. It's not a dramatic divide -- no one thinks the good times will roll again for a couple of years -- but it's consistent, if their public pronouncements are to be believed.

WPP chief Martin Sorrell has consistently been the most negative, frowning on the idea that green shoots could be seen just a few days ago. Anyone who thinks the recovery has started has been lulled into a false sense of security, he says.

Fittingly, Sorrell's most famous rival, Publicis boss Maurice Levy, has been the most sunny. He thinks Q2 2009 was the bottom and it will be upward after that.

Here's a sampling of who said what over the last few weeks: