Ad group WPP in talks with client Ford to extend partnership

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[November 28, 2017]  LONDON (Reuters) - WPP <WPP.L> said on Tuesday Ford Motor Company <F.N>, a major client, had informed it of its intention to carry on working with the world's biggest advertising agency for a new period of time beginning in 2018, lifting its shares.

Martin Sorrell, chairman and chief executive officer of WPP, the world's largest advertising company, speaks at the Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) annual conference in London, Britain November 21, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

Britain's WPP, led by the high profile businessman Martin Sorrell, has been hit this year by a slowdown in spending from some clients and a new wave of competition that has forced the big ad groups to turn more aggressive when bidding for new contracts.

WPP, which includes such names as Vodafone, Chanel, Unilever and BP on its client roster, said it had been verbally informed by Ford that the car company was considering its future internal and external marketing model and wanted to enter into a further agreement with WPP for a period to be agreed in 2018.

"WPP is considering the proposal and is in discussion with Ford on next steps," it said. Shares in WPP rose on the news and were up 2.6 percent at 1345 GMT.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Jason Neely)

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