FORT LAUDERDALE — GroupM owner WPP’s CEO Sir Martin Sorrell once famously called Google a “frenemy”. So why did GroupM recently acquire a digital advertising company ensconced in Google’s world?

“We’re the guys who coined the term ‘frenemy’, and we’re not big fans of the whole walled garden concept that Google represents,” Group M global chairman Irwin Gotlieb tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “We’ve developed our own tech stacks to deal with the digital area. We prefer not to use the Google technology.”

So why did GroupM just acquire Essence?

“As GroupM, we still spend in excess of $3 billion dollars a year with Google. And we need to spend that money … in a best-in-class manner,” Gotlieb explains.

“Essence uses the Google tech stack. And they are, in fact, Google’s agency around the world. We see a path … we’ve got our meta DSP going and we’re beginning to integrate the Essence component as the pathway from the meta DSP into Google inventory. That’s kind of the play there.”


This video was produced at the Beet.TV executive retreat presented by Videology with Adobe, AT&T AdWorks and Nielsen.

Gotlieb was interviewed on stage by moderator Scott Ferber, CEO of Videology.

You can find more videos from the Beet Retreat on this page.