Global advertising giant WPP suffered a major revolt by shareholders on Wednesday as almost 60 percent of investors voted against the company's latest remuneration report, it revealed.
Shareholders had been angered in the run-up to the meeting by the award of a pay package worth almost £6.8 million to WPP's chief executive and founder Martin Sorrell for his work in 2011.
The vote, disclosed at WPP's annual meeting in Dublin, is not binding and will not force the Ireland-based company to amend its pay policy for last year.
A total of 59.53 percent of proxy votes were against the pay report, according to a group statement.
WPP chairman Philip Lader said following the result that the "board exercised its best judgement in the context of the company's record year, international competitors, and the executives' performance."
He added in the statement: "We appreciate our share owners' support on the re-election of all directors and all other resolutions, take the remuneration report vote seriously, will consult with many share owners, and will then move forward in the best interests of our share owners and our business."
The stand-off between WPP, the world's largest advertising company by revenue, and its shareholders, comes amid a broader wave of investor angst over executive pay in Britain that has claimed the jobs of three top bosses.
Chief executives of insurer Aviva, drugs group AstraZeneca and newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror have all quit in recent weeks.