Video: Why WPP Does Not Run Strip Clubs

Last Updated Feb 11, 2009 2:42 PM EST

A lovely video of Rory Sutherland, vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group in the UK, has surfaced on YouTube in which he discusses what it would be like if WPP ran a strip club. The speech was given at an Ogilvy Digital Summit (see video below).

He begins by describing these "dubious drinking institutions" and assuring his audience "I've never been there, I hasten to add." And then he presents this economic analysis:

You go and pay £300 for a glass of cider masquerading as champagne. You're allowed to sit there pretending it's champagne -- self delusion being a very important part of added value -- in the presence of someone who's wearing not as many clothes as they should.

And I've always fantasized about an agency finance director, or indeed someone from WPP, taking over one of those institutions and saying, "It seems to me you've got an extraordinary profitable bar business here, but the girls just seem to be an overhead. Clearly if we strip out this extraneous scantily clad girl overhead we'll have an extraordinarily lucrative business."

But strangely, in the absence of those girls, the appetite for paying £200 for a bottle of cider masquerading as champagne seems to diminish somewhat and the business doesn't turn out quite as good as you'd like it to be.
The video was picked up by Mike Teasdale, Planning Director of Harvest Digital, on his blog.