The CEO of the world's biggest advertising firm has warned the industry is facing sluggish growth and the firm is fighting a daily battle in the face of U.S. spending cuts and Europe's slowdown.
"The conditions that we face are rather difficult," Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP told, CNBC Friday. "I'm not proud of organic growth of 2-3 percent. I'd like to see it higher. And it is hand-to-hand combat in the trenches in a sense in terms of what we're doing."
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WPP's organic revenue grew by just 2.1 percent in the first quarter. The firm said profits and operating margin were ahead of forecasts and better than the previous year's numbers. WPP also said it would maintain its 2013 outlook for revenue growth of 3 percent.
But Sorrell said the firm faced a constant balancing act between headcount and revenues, and it was currently trimming back on investments it made last year.
"I hope again this year we'll post record results, no forecasts but I hope we will," he said, adding that digital advertising is where the growth is.
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"Western Europe is where it's tougher, the U.S. is in the balance. The sequester has certainly slowed GNP (gross national product) growth in the first couple of quarters in the United States. It is having an impact. But we'll see more growth coming out of the U.S. in due course."