COLOGNE — At last year’s DMEXCO, WPP Sir Martin Sorrell promised he would finally join Twitter – if CEO Jack Dorsey showed up at the next event.
Well, at this week’s 2017 occurrence of the digital ad gathering in Germany, the pair graced the stage together, and Sorrell joined the social network live in front of an audience.
But that doesn’t mean the chief of the world’s largest ad agency holding group is a total convert.
Speaking with Beet.TV in this video interview after his appearance, Sorrell had some robust views about what advertisers need from tech companies like Twitter.
“We had a very strong year with (Twitter) last year,” he said. “We went up in spending with our clients from about 240 million to 300 million. (But) I think they’ve got to be a little bit less clunky on the technology front.
“It’s true of all the big tech companies – a lot of times the clients and the agencies say, ‘Look, can’t we have this?’, to which the answer is often a ‘No’.
Twitter may need to relent. Its Q2 2017 advertising revenue fell 8% year-on-year, while daily-active-user growth declined from the previous quarter.
The network, once pitched as a “microblog” for text updates, is now pinning its ad growth on live video streaming.
But Sorrell is hoping Twitter – or perhaps Snapchat or another – can drive competition amongst a “Fearsome Five” of big tech firms and especially against the troublesome two of Facebook and Google.
“Frankly, a lot of our clients, a lot of traditional media owners, agencies, want a third force,” he tells Beet.TV. “Twitter has an opportunity, Amazon clearly has an opportunity to become that third … Oath has an opportunity, AppNexus has their opportunity, so we’ll see how it all pans out”
This video was produced as part of Beet.TV leadership series from DMEXCO, presented by NBCUniversal. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.