WPP internal whistleblower reports up 64% on 2022


Agency holding group WPP saw its internal whistleblower reports rise by 64% in 2023 up to 612 from 372 in 2022, with most reports concerning “respect in the workplace” and “protection of WPP’s assets”.

Out of the 612 whistleblower reports received across 2023, 476 were made via the firm’s ‘Right to Speak’ hotline through which employees can voice their concerns about anything that might breaches the company’s code of business conduct.

Raised via employee forums and WPP’s business integrity team, whistleblower reports are subsequently analysed in a bid to use the learnings to help find solutions and identify risks.

Across all the concerns raised last year, the largest identified risk impact was people, accounting for 64% of all complaints made – this was however down on the 82% seen in 2022. The development follows a challenging year for the company.

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This was followed a long way behind by legal and regulatory (16% of complaints), financial (8%), clients (6%), operational (5%) and data privacy, security and ethics (1%).

According to WPP, every complaint is logged, investigated and reported to its internal audit committee via its business integrity team and seen to through to “conclusion”.

“Since 2018, we have been focused on creating a culture that is open and inclusive and where our 114,000 people feel confident to speak up and raise concerns,” a WPP spokesperson said.

“As a key part of this commitment, we continue to actively publicise our Right to Speak hotline service, which our people, suppliers and other third parties can use to raise any issues anonymously and confidentially. This has driven a rise in the number of calls as people become more aware of the service and more willing to report issues.”


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