WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell has claimed that the UK ratings downgrade from its AAA status is an indicator of "a lost decade" for the Western world.
Speaking to The Drum, Sir Martin added that the decision by Moody's to downgrade the UK to Aa1 for the first time since 1978 was "a stark reminder that the problems we face are more emblematic than real."
He continued: "It reminds us how long its going to take to get out of the post Lehman mess - five years already. It really may be a lost decade in the West.
"It also reminds us of the shift in economic power to the South, South East and East."
Asked what the downgrade may mean for the UK marketing and media sector, Sir Martin, who admitted that the current climate was both the most interesting and toughest he has experienced, added: "For the industry it just emphasises, yet again, the importance of growth opportunities in the BRICs and Next 11, in new media, in application of technology and big data. Growth, such as it is, isn't in the traditional markets."
WPP is expected to release its results for 2012 on Friday 1 March following record results in 2011.