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Advertising in US Could Slow in 2011: WPP CEO Sorrell

Friday, 29 Oct 2010 | 11:43 AM ET

After a comeback in advertising this year, the United States may experience a slowdown 2011, WPP Group CEO Sir Martin Sorrell told CNBC Friday.

“Next year might rebalance a bit,” said Sorrell. “We might see lower growth in America in our industry, but the rest of the world, including Asia, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, will be taking up the slack.”

Sorrell, whose company reported earnings Friday, noted that due to a year of brisk business so far, WPP has upped its headcount by 3.5 to 4 percent, adding about 4,000 employees.

WPP Confident on Fourth Quarter
WPP posted revenue growth at the high-end of analyst forecasts Friday. The world's largest advertising group said it expects a strong fourth quarter. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, spoke to CNBC about the outlook.

Sorrell also said the company was in acquisition mode and would be announcing later Friday the purchase of a social media website.

Regarding advertising, Western Europe, with the exception of Germany, which is the “strongman in Western Europe,” will still be a “laggard,” added Sorrell.(Watch more of Sorrell's comments from his US Squawk Box interview.)

Using a soccer analogy, Sorrell said the United States, the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and the “next 11” ones are in Division 1, or the top tier for business, followed by Germany in Division 2 and the rest of Western Europe in Division 3.

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