As Norman Pearlstine filled in for Fortune Editor Alan Murray for two weeks, the top editor of Time Inc. saw his editorial ‘Why WPP's annual report is a Buffett-esque read’ go viral on social media.
He started off the piece by stating that the latest WPP annual report may be the best annual report he has read so far. Praising Sir Martin Sorrell’s leadership, he compared the latest report with Warren Buffett’s shareholder letters and reports on Berkshire Hathaway.
He says, “While Buffett has only printed two photos in 50 years – in each of the past two years he has run one photo of himself with his Omaha staff — WPP’s 250 page report is beautifully designed, photographed and illustrated. The report comes with a humorous four-page cover wrap charting WPP’s history.”
He pointed out that the report was a “model of clarity.”
As he drew comparisons between Buffet and Sorrell, he said, “While Buffett focuses almost entirely on his company’s operations and results, Sorrell takes a broader macro view, seeing risk in Europe’s economic fragility, instability in the Middle East, emerging nations coping with falling prices for their commodities, the U.S deficit and debt.”
He concludes his editorial by stating that, “While WPP shares haven’t matched Berkshire Hathaway’s long-term performance, Sorrell can be proud of what he has accomplished.”
To view the report, follow this link: http://www.wpp.com/annualreports/2014/?xid=nl_daily
After its release in May this year, the WPP annual report also took first place in the lacp Vision Awards top 100. The Fortune article went viral since its publication on Monday, and has since then been retweeted within and outside the advertising community. Excerpts: