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:
- Publicis CEO Maurice Levy: "It's not a big rebound, but there are some interesting signs ... It is a business that will continue to grow, and we will see advertisers spending more in the sector ... But the fight for market share will be tougher." He also predicted the ad market reached bottom in July and saw a recovery after that.
- Omnicom Chief Executive John Wren: "We don't see a recovery, but we feel we've hit the troughs."
- Interpublic CEO Michael Roth: Roth sees incremental margin improvement with "nominal growth" next year.
- WPP chief Martin Sorrell: "We don't see any green shoots."