Sorrell Issues Warning to Facebook and Google

WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell has said that Facebook and Google must address issues around brand safety online and fake news and said that their dominance was prompting advertisers and agencies to look for alternatives. 

Speaking to City AM, Sir Martin said: “When you have a duopoly, clients and agencies are looking for alternatives. 

“Unless they acknowledge that they are media companies and not technology companies and therefore have the same responsibilities [as the news industry] for the truthfulness of their content that appears on their pages, until that happens, there could be a problem.

“After they’ve acknowledged that, and acknowledged a responsibility, I think there’s an opportunity they’ll continue to grow.”

Press Gazette reported this week that Procter & Gamble has pulled $1.5 billion out of the global advertising space because of the lack of transparency around buying media online.

“We’re working to lead the effort on media transparency, eliminating costs in the media supply chain created by poor standards adoption, too many players grading their own homework, too many hidden touches, too many holes, where criminals can rip us off and unsafe places for our brands to have ads,” P&G’s chief financial officers Jon Moeller told investors.

In its Q1 2017 results this week, Facebook announced that number of people using the platform each month had increased to 1.94 billion with a 76 per cent year-on-year rise in profits to more than $3 billion in the first quarter. Ad revenues grew by 51 per cent to $7.9 billion.