Sorrell: Print Ads More Powerful Than Facebook Video

WPP chief executive officer Sir Martin Sorrell has said that a Facebook video does not have the same impact as a print or TV ad and, in a call also made this week by Campaign, reiterated his desire for Facebook and Google to allow independent evaluation of their audience measurement.

Sir Martin’s comments during a session at the Festival of Marketing yesterday were reported by Marketing Week. He said: “Facebook can’t really claim that a three-second view when 50 per cent of the time the sound is off is the same as a 15-second, a 30-second, a 60-second TV ad or someone reading a The Times for 40 minutes,”

“And we have to address this by having better measurement.”

Sir Martin Sorrell has previously spoken out to call for Facebook and Google to allow independent evaluation of their audience measurement after Facebook admitted to a miscalculation which resulted in an overstatement of one its video metrics.

In a comment piece today, Campaign acting UK editor Maisie McCabe questioned the logic of brands abandoning print, “a medium that has been proven to be effective,” in favour of Google and Facebook which offer no independent assurances about whether their campaigns work.

Maisie wrote: “At the same time as they’re buying views online blind, advertisers are abandoning a medium that has been proven to be effective. Tesco has cut its print adspend by 85 per cent this year despite studies showing that the channel can almost triple the effectiveness of retail campaigns.

“The Guardian’s chief revenue officer Hamish Nicklin spoke to me this week about his plans to combat this situation. The key part of his strategy is to prove that advertising with The Guardian prompts readers to do things and drives quantifiable results for brands. The Guardian needs brands to value the premium environment their ads are appearing in, but advertisers and agencies are rightly demanding evidence before committing to paying a premium.

“In the case of Google and Facebook, brands aren’t even getting independent assurance about the basic metrics of their campaigns, never mind whether they work. Advertisers are all too willing to wield their power over smaller media owners. It’s about time they were prepared to do the same to the big beasts.

If anyone has an explanation of why the tech giants should not be held to the same standards as everyone else, I’d love to hear it. Really, honestly, I’d like to know if there is a reason I’m missing. Because it seems to me that, given their increasing power, complex tax arrangements, impact on other media and stockpiles of cash, we should be asking more of them, not settling for less.”