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Publicis Groupe WPP Margaret Thatcher

Tributes paid to Lady Thatcher by WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell, Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis CEO Maurice Levy

By Stephen Lepitak, -

WPP

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WPP article

April 9, 2013 | 4 min read

Following the death of former Conservative Prime Minister Lady Margaret Thatcher, some of the biggest names in media and marketing have stepped forward to pay tribute to the controversial British leader.

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP

Sad news. It reminds me of what Sir David Brailsford said made a great leader - 'clarity of vision, strong implementation and involvement in detail'. Obviously Maurice [Saatchi] and Tim [Bell] know far more than me, but she clearly understood with Gordon Reece the power and importance of branding and communications. She also understood the entrepreneurial psyche.

Maurice Levy, CEO of Publicis Groupe

For me there were two Margaret Thatcher Prime Ministers. The first one was opinionated with a strong character and strong beliefs that changed UK and probably saved the United Kingdom after the disastrous era of Wilson. She had great influence in Europe and built or rebuilt the foundations of a modern state, rescued the economy and faced huge challenges from her European partners as well as from a lot of constituencies or bodies in the UK including Unions, but not only them.The second Mrs Thatcher was not a good Prime Minister. She was not listening and she was believing she was always right, based on the first period. On communication and advertising no-one better than Maurice Saatchi can speak about this period. But clearly she was a great believer in advertising and used a lot the possibilities offered by good advertising to achieve her plans.

Lord Tim Bell, founder of Bell Pottinger

We’ll never see the like of her again. She was one of the great Prime Ministers of all time and transformed people's lives.She was just a fantastic person – extraordinary charisma, very focused, loved her country, loved being in government and dedicated her life to making people’s lives better… I think history will remember her very kindly.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corp

Margaret Thatcher: Symbol of liberty and strength. Changed Britain and the world for the better.May she rest in peace.

Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi

Margaret Thatcher just died. RIP Maggie. She was a central personality in the first 25 year phase of the Saatchi & Saatchi story. The Brothers – Charles and Maurice Saatchi – were the Iron Lady’s communications advisers and activists during her rise to power and in two re-elections. They created advertising for the Conservative Party that devastated the sitting Labour Party. The “Labour Isn’t Working” poster of 1979 has been called the most effective political advertisement ever created (kudos to young Saatchi & Saatchi copywriter Andrew Rutherford). Mrs Thatcher kept indifferent health in the past few years, but still had the spirit to steal the show as she did at the 40th birthday party of Saatchi & Saatchi in 2010. I had left the murky and melancholic shores of Great Britain in 1972 to pursue a dream of freedom, choice, opportunity, and prosperity – all the things that the UK didn’t stand for at the time. I cheered Margaret Thatcher on from the sidelines (I was based in the Middle East for P&G) because she stood unequivocally for a new equation – the aforesaid freedom, choice, opportunity, and prosperity. Shimon Peres said of leadership: 'When you have a chosen a destiny… never give up.” Margaret Thatcher was the embodiment of this'.

Francis Ingham, PRCA director general

Regardless of your politics, this is a day to remember that Baroness Thatcher was a class apart from almost every other political figure in recent UK history. She was courageous, radical and she changed the way the British people viewed themselves and their opportunities. One of her greatest skills was in communications – she could leave the opposition floundering with a few choice words, often to devastating effect.

Publicis Groupe WPP Margaret Thatcher

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