×

'Reality TV' presidential race good for business: WPP

The run-up to the U.S. presidential election is like a "reality TV show" but will boost business, the boss of one of the world's leading advertising companies told CNBC.

Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, said that the upcoming race to become America's next president, the Rio Olympics this year, and the Euro 2016 soccer championships – despite the controversy around the sport's world governing body FIFA – will help the company.

"We are seeing big issues in most sports, there is going to have to be very significant change at FIFA, and elsewhere in order to get it right…but that will end up to the good…but having said that you're right, this year when possibly Hillary wins the US presidential election, that will be helpful for our business," Sorrell told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Politicians are battling it out in the U.S. to represent their party in the upcoming elections. Sorrell said the race to pick candidates is "rather like a reality TV show".


Volatile China

The advertising veteran also said he remained bullish on China, despite stock market volatility and concerns over the growth of the world's second-largest economy.

"We saw tremendous volatility. I don't think it's going to be much different this year, but I remain long-term, as far as the future of WPP is concerned, that fast-growth markets digital, data…Certainly in the context of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China)…China is very important," Sorrell said.

His comments come amid calls from business leaders of a need to focus on the long-term opportunities rather than a short-term outlook.

Mark Weinberger, the chief executive of EY, said that macroeconomic uncertainties, such as the persistently low oil price, is damaging business confidence and stopping companies from investing. But he called on business to ditch the short-term outlook and invest for long-term opportunities such as the emerging markets.

"Everybody is focused on short term, but you have to separate the noise from the signal. You have to look at where things are going long term otherwise your investments will never pay off," Weinberger told CNBC in a TV interview.

"If you're pulling out of the emerging markets today, you're going to be way behind tomorrow," he added.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.