WPP PLC (NYSE: WPP) commented on their reaction to the start of the coronavirus, “Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, our first priority has been the safety and welfare of our people, and doing what we can to limit the impact of the pandemic on our communities. Our leadership has communicated continuously to our people around the world and we have followed or exceeded the guidance of governments and international health organisations in the measures we have taken to protect our employees’ health and to help slow the spread of the virus. We know this is a stressful and unsettling time for our people, and are encouraging all managers to stay in close contact with their teams to provide the support needed. We continue to give regular guidance on mental and physical wellbeing.”
The company has continued its pursuit to maintain service to clients at this critical time as they ventured towards working remotely for the majority of the business. Communications are adjusted accordingly. In the first two months of 2020 displayed a 16.1% fall in LFL revenue. During the coronavirus in China, almost all employees worked remotely due to health restrictions but as it has been slowly lifted, 55% of local workforce are back in office. Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer, WPP:
“The actions we have taken in the last 18 months to streamline and simplify WPP, together with raising £3.2 billion in asset disposals, have put WPP in a strong financial position. It is clear that the companies in the strongest financial position will be best placed to protect their people, serve their clients and benefit their shareholders during a period of great uncertainty, which is why we are taking the steps we are outlining today.
“Across WPP we now have close to 95% of our people working effectively and productively away from their offices. I am very proud of the response from our people, who are looking out for each other and going the extra mile for clients while demonstrating the creativity, collaboration and resilience that will be key to the enduring success of WPP. At the same time, we are supporting many governments and international health organisations on communications programmes to limit the impact of COVID-19 on our communities. The important role we are playing in helping our clients navigate a difficult time gives us great confidence in the long-term future of the company.”