Global: Sorrell slams Google over accountability

Global: Sorrell slams Google over accountability

WPP founder and chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell has taken aim at Google and Facebook, urging them to take responsibility when it comes to measurement errors and ad fraud, as he believes the digital players are not doing enough.

Marketingweek.com reports that Sir Martin disagreed with Google’s claims that it had managed to allay advertisers’ concerns after an exposé in The Times that revealed brands could be inadvertently funding terrorism through programmatic advertising.

“We can spin it or speak the truth,” he told an IPA event in London last week about the future of advertising, alongside Google’s UK managing director Ronan Harris and Channel 4’s CEO David Abraham.

“Brand safety is a massive issue, and I wouldn’t agree with what you just said. The fundamental issue in my view is that you have to take responsibility for it as a media company,” he said.

“You are not a sitting there as a digital engineer hitting your digital pipes with a digital spanner and not being responsible for the digital content through those pipes. You have resources, your margins are enormous, you don’t explain to people how algorithms work, you have to change in my view.”

In response, Mr Harris said Google did take brand safety seriously and worked hard to put in place algorithms that take out anything malicious, as well as “throwing a lot of people at it” who review the content.

However, Sir Martin believes this is not enough. “CMOs have been banging on about this for ages. We have been heavily supportive of this. In my view, not supportive enough as it hasn’t been effective. Whether you say you’re doing it or not, you’re clearly not doing enough,” he said.

GroupM warns on Snap ads

GroupM has sent a note to clients warning them their ads could end up next to adult content on Snapchat, the New York Times reports.

While Snapchat does not allow people to distribute explicitly sexual content, one advertiser found its Snapchat brand image appropriated by a porn actress.

If clients are worried about this possibility, GroupM is advising them to stick to running ads within Snapchat Discover, the app’s curated section reserved for media companies such as Vox and CNN.

The problem for advertisers, however, is that Discover is not where the bulk of Snapchat’s content is.

Trump is a fan, says NYT editor

New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet says US president Donald Trump loves the Times and lashes out when he cannot win its favour.

Politico website reported Mr Baquet’s comments from a session of the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, at the weekend, “Covering POTUS”.

“I think he wants our favour, but when he can’t have it, he gets hugely angry,” he said. “I think The New York Times … historically sets a certain kind of agenda. But I also think he’s a New York guy, and The New York Times means a lot to him.”

Mr Baquet also addressed the Times‘ efforts to ramp up coverage of the Trump administration, while preparing for cuts this year that will reduce the number of journalists on staff. “We will do nothing to cut our ability to cover this presidency and this revolution in Washington,” he vowed.

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