Today's FT has a story that I find shocking in the extreme. The Company working to keep Robert Mugabe in power in Zimbabwe is part of Martin Sorrell's WPP Group! At first I thought this must be a smear as the implications are so bad for his business. However, WPP have been forced to admit to the FT that it is true, and that the company behind Mugabe's adverts that have incited the murder of 80 opposition campaigners is indeed part of the Young and Rubicam Group that WPP owns.
In a clear attempt to head of a massive storm, Sorrell says that he will divest his company of their interests in Zimbabwe. This is rather too late for the 80 dead, and thousands who have been tortured by Mugabe's thugs.
Mr Sorrell says that he didn't know that his company was working for Mugabe. This leaves some very interesting questions that he will need to answer today. For a start, I have looked at the WPP Website. It lists the countries where they do business around the world - yet fails to mention Zimbabwe. If they didn't think they were doing anything wrong - why did they hide that they were there? I also see from statements in the Zimbabwe press that the lady who runs the company for Mr Sorrell is called Sharyn Mugabe. Mugabe is not exactly a common name, and yet it didn't seem to raise any alarm bells with WPP.
The most important question now is what will WPP do to put right this terrible wrong. If they genuinely are sorry, they will announce today that every penny they have received from their immoral business is to be donated to help the victims of Mugabe's reign of terror? WPP has blood on its hands - I just wonder how many other international companies have also been making money propping up this immoral regime.