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‘Comeback Kid’ Sorrell Suffers PR Setback
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O'Dwyer's Public Relations News O'Dwyer's Public Relations News
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Friday, May 6, 2022

 
Martin Sorrell
Martin Sorrell

S4 Capital chairman Martin Sorrell finally issued his firm’s 2021 earnings on May 6, more than a month after PwC refused to sign off on the original release because it was unable to complete the audit.

Sorrell called the delay “unacceptable and embarrassing” and due to control weaknesses, staff turnover and lack of detailed documentation.

He promised “upskilling” S4 Capital’s finance team and noted that a number of senior hires have already taken place this year.

There’s a “full debrief planned to ensure all suggestions from PwC are captured” and in place before the first-quarter results are announced at the end of May.

If Sorrell, 77, really wants to avenge his ouster from WPP by making a run at his old firm, he’s got to get S4 Capital controls in order.

The holdup of the financials clearly shows that S4 Capital has a way to go before it can run with the Big Dogs.

The flap also overshadowed news that S4 Capital doubled its revenues to $844M last year but suffered a $51.7M operating loss vs. a year ago with $9.8M profit.

Russia and its oligarchs can no longer benefit from the UK’s “world class” PR firms, according to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who announced a ban of services exports to Russia on May 4.

PR, accounting firms and management consultants make up about 10 percent of Russian imports in those sectors.

“Our professional services exports are extraordinarily valuable to many countries, which is exactly why we’re locking Russia out,” said Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary. “By restricting access to our world-class management consultants, accountancy and PR firms, we’re ratcheting up economic pressure on the Kremlin to change course.”

London, of course, has been laundering the reputation of Russians and unsavory characters from places like Saudi Arabia and China for years.

The Public Relations and Communications Association welcomed the ban on Russia.

“Nobody with any conscience can do business with Russia," said Francis Ingham, PRCA director general. "It is simply unthinkable given the barbarity of the Russian state. Putin has turned his country into a pariah state that sadly now has no place in the global community of civilized nations. It will not re-enter that community until its president leaves the Kremlin."

And London’s PR firms will be ready to position Putin’s successor as the best friend the West has ever had.

Truss will put a big "Back in Business" sign on the London PR laundermat.

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