Machiavelli On Madison Avenue

A British advertising juggernaut bids for Ogilvy & Mather

Just four years ago, the WPP Group was a sleepy English manufacturer of wire market baskets, filing trays and teapots. But since then the company has become one of the world's most powerful advertising firms. The WPP conglomerate has already swallowed up the New York City-based JWT Group, which included two leading U.S. agencies, J. Walter Thompson and Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein. The architect of WPP's remarkable transformation is Martin Sorrell, 44, the most feared raider to set foot on Madison Avenue.

Last week Sorrell was on the attack again, singling out one of the oldest and most venerable names in...

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