back to article 'Facebook, Twitter, Google: Ad companies masquerading as tech ones'

The boss of Britain's largest advertising company has slammed Google, Facebook and Twitter for being "media owners masquerading as tech companies". Speaking at the FT Digital Media Conference in London today, Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, said his company spent $2bn on buying advertising from Google last year, up …


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  1. C 18
    Big Brother

    What does he think...?

    They get their money for nothing? Clicks for free?!

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'These are media owners masquerading as technology companies'

    Verdad! They are mere Ad-Delivery-Devices. Their real innovation lies far behind the scenes with web-tracking, ad-brokerages and real-time ad-auctions etc. Merely to serve us ads from their ad-search-click biz models of choice. i.e.

    Google Search? ... A directory w/ ads.

    Google Gmail? ... Email w/ ads.

    Facebook? ... Blogs with ads. Newsgroups w/ ads. Event Calendars w/ ads. Photo Albums w/ ads

    Twitter? ... SMS chat / Instant Messenger w/ ads.

  4. Yag


    No "bear" and "pope" related sentences...

    1. Great Bu

      Re: Strange...

      Does the bear pope shit in the vatican woods ?

  5. I like noodles

    The bit that depresses me in this

    Is that he's telling companies they advertise in print too much and not enough on the web.

    As if I want even more adverts thrust in my face.

    1. D 13
      Paris Hilton

      Re: The bit that depresses me in this

      A quick installation of adblock plus and the thrusting stops.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The bit that depresses me in this

        @D 13 adblock is no better than stealing from a store.

        1. Yag

          "adblock is no better than stealing from a store."

          And the hover-on full screen pop-up surround-sound-enabled flash ads are like a huge man jumping in front of you, blocking your way and yelling at you because you just took a short look at him.

        2. Ktsecful

          Re: The bit that depresses me in this


          If that's the case, it's incredible that we don't have half of the nation locked up for going to make a cup of tea in the ad breaks...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The bit that depresses me in this

      You are talking from the POV of a consumer, and I can totally relate to that.

      But from the POV of a producer as well, these revenue allows producers to give services to you for free. The great thing about the web is, if you really don't like the ads, there are _always_ equivalent services that you can pay a small subscription fee for that would get rid of ads.

      I welcome the fact that he's trying to say not enough money is being spent on web, and one really has to wonder why that is. Think about it, the _cost_ of print / TV media is actually quite high, given the fact that there is no concrete metrics on the number of viewers who you manage to "influence".

      Yet, in web media, CPC and CPV is so low and just keeps getting lower that to be fair it's probably the _cheapest_ AND most effective way of advertising out of all the options.

      Universally speaking in advertising, the only metrics company wants to know is CPI (cost per influence), and I'm sure if someone were to make a research paper on advertising today CPI for print and TV media is at _least_ 5 times more than the web.

      Speaking as a producer, we want CPC and CPV to increase so that we don't have to show so much ads to our users, and the only way to do that is when more and more money is spent on internet advertising.

      As consumers, you should be worried about internet advertising's declining prices and small budgets, because if this trend continues, producers won't be able to afford to give you free services in exchange for showing ads.

      Meaning no more free e-mails, free SaaS apps or whatever you're using today on the net to get through your daily lives with.

      One thing that has bugged me since the dawn of internet advertising is WHY O WHY is there a CPC measure. A banner large enough showing on someone's page _should_ be paid for surely in the same way a newspaper is paid for when ads are printed. CPC advertising is basically a give away because no one really clicks on ads unless it interest them so much that they do, yet the influence is made as soon as a banner ad is seen.

      Many multi-national FMCG initates advertising campaigns just to "get their name out", they don't *really* care so much about the contents of the advertising campaign, their object is done as soon as someone notices their name on things.

      CPC should really be dropped as it's a totally unfair metric for producers.

      I blame Google and Yahoo for all this, they totally have the power and influence to correct the wrongs, but they don't care, they bascially have a monopoly and they earn so much per quarter that they can just put their feet up and when someone comes along who challenges them, they'll just buy them out.

      More anti-trust case should be brought against them because this way of operating basically puts many internet "tech" companies at a major disadvantage when it comes to ad supported revenues to the point it is impossible for them to challenge the "tech" giants on their own turf.

  6. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    Not more ADS

    The porblem is not that they don't put adverts: most of them just don't pay for realspace.

    They are happy no irritate the user, but most just pay when one user clicks!! Still, they get brand recognition essentially for free.

  7. Khaptain Silver badge

    Google is a delivery service

    Google have built a very powerfull "Advertising Delivery Service". Google does not create advertising they merely provide the support on which the advertising can be displayed, accessed, linked. They have built the engines , the databases, the data centers, etc that give advertisers the means to display their goodies on the InterWeb thingy.

    They are most definately a tech company.

    I won't comment on facebook or Twitter as advertising was an afterthought on both.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Google is a delivery service

      That's like saying NI is a typesetting company.

  8. frank ly

    If Google is a media company masquerading as a tech company .....

    .... then why don't WPP develop and build their own search engine etc. and cut out the Google-man? Could it be that they don't have the ability, because they are not a tech company?

  9. Don Jefe

    Print Adverts

    I still subscribe to several dead tree magazines (I just like them better). I also feel their advertisements are far more compelling than online ads. I'm far more likely to look at a magazine ad & actually read it than I am whatever bullshit ad I automatically mentally Adblock online, I don't give online ads any attention at all.

  10. Gerard Krupa

    Are any of them just one thing?

    What he means is "we aren't doing any kind of tech innovation to remotely compete with them so we'll try to bring them down to our level instead".

  11. JCitizen Bronze badge

    Whining and moaning..

    Whatsa matter Martin? Jealous! Wire and Plastic Products(WPP) have come a long way baby!

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