DOGBERRY: Which chief executive if not an ad man should speak in clear way?

Guilty: WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell

Guilty: WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell

Constable Dogberry in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing mangles every word he utters – and so do many business leaders. We put the worst offenders in the dock for crimes against the English language.

THE ACCUSED: Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive, WPP.

WHAT HE SAID: We live ‘in a sub-pre-Lehman trend world’.

WHAT HE MEANT: This is a fine example of sub-understandable-over-confidence-driven waffle. What he means is growth rates now are lower than before the financial crash.

ANY PREVIOUS: Sorrell has appeared in Dogberry in the past over his use of the baffling term ‘maxi-quadrennial’ to describe the World Cup and Olympics.

EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES: He loves an odd turn of phrase. Some of these have worked, such as his analysis of the global economy as the ‘bathtub recovery’, which dips sharply then climbs slowly.

But for an ad man, every phrase has to be well honed and clear.

VERDICT: Guilty.