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Sorrell puts focus on growth after US bounces back

Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, has said that while 2009 "was about survival" the focus for the global advertising market was now on growth, with Germany emerging as the "strong man of western Europe".

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Speaking in a telephone interview with CNBC this morning, Sorrell said 2010 has been characterised by surprisingly strong growth in the US as well as the resurgence of traditional media.

"America and traditional media have bitten back. That's probably understandable given where we were this time last year. There's probably a bit of dead cat bounce ... Traditional media has got significantly cheaper."

He expects growth next year to switch from the US towards Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Talking from a global perspective, he said America is still a very significant factor when forecasting growth, remarking that the country was first into, but also out of, recession and the "ripple effect" from this was still being felt in Europe.

He said last year advertising as a proportion of GNP fell back to a low equivalent to the mid-1970s, but pointed out that this excludes new media, which he highlighted as an increasingly important platform.

When asked if clients were increasing budgets he said that "major packed goods brands have been talking about increasing budgets and we are seeing it". He also said new business was strong, with WPP’s new business record this year "exceptionally good".

Talking about WPP's budget-setting process unfolding over the next few weeks, Sorrell said "there is a little bit of a tension between what the operating companies are saying and what we feel at the centre".

WPP has just released its quarterly results, reporting a revenue rise of 12%. To watch the full interview from CNBC, click on the player above.

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