Sir Martin Sorrell on AdTech
WPP’s CEO weighs in on adtech.
As CEO of WPP, the world’s largest advertising company by revenues, Sir Martin Sorrell is one of the most important voices in the marketing landscape. He sat down with Ad Age editor Ken Wheaton, following the 2016 Cannes Festival of Creativity to talk about how the event has evolved over time.
It is telling for the industry that Sorrell is a big believer in the advances that data and analytics bring to the advertising and marketing fields. He points to WPP’s revenue streams as a sign of emerging trends– 75 percent of the company’s earnings comes from media, data and digital. In support of emerging data practices in the midst of creative and marketing disciplines, Sorrell also says that data enhances creativity, giving practitioners greater insights with the opportunity to be sharper and even more energetic.
Here is the text of the portion of the interview related to data, or take a look at Ad Age for Sorrell’s full remarks.
Ken Wheaton, Editor, Advertising Age: This year there is some griping about the increased invasion of the adtech companies. You’ve got Yacht Row seems to be adtech companies and then Facebook took over the beach, you can’t use that beach this year for meetings.
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP: Facebook and Google to be fair, it’s the duopoly hits the beach.
Wheaton: Right. Is there some validity to this griping or is this just the evolution of the business?
Sorrell: I think it is more of the latter than the former. I think that there is sort of rose tinted, short-sighted, it’s the sort of thing you hear about data is an enemy of creativity which I think is nonsense. Data enhances the creativity, it gives you greater insights and therefore it sort of focuses the creativity and gives you an opportunity to be sharper and even more energetic. No, I think the simple fact of the matter is whether you or I like it or not or the creative community likes it or not, our business has become more technologically related.
I look at the pattern of our revenues and 75 percent of it comes from media and from data and digital. Now if you say that is sort of technology related, we are technology businesses. If Google and Facebook are frenemies, which I believe they are, they are friendlier frenemies in many respects than they were before. It means that technology has become even more important.
You see it in media with programmatic, as an axis where we overlay technology and data across the top of the programmatic platform to add value, and make heavy investments in those areas to do so.
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