WPP snaps up Snapchat ads – but Facebook still reigns supreme
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WPP snaps up Snapchat ads – but Facebook still reigns supreme

WPP, the world’s largest advertising agency, is upping its spend on Snapchat for its online marketing endeavours. Outspoken CEO Sir Martin Sorrell – who has often been noted for his particular turn of phrase – describes the money WPP is planning to spend on Snapchat as a “flea on the elephant’s backside.” The elephant, in this case, being WPP’s marketing budget for social media titan Facebook.

WPP is planning to double its commitment to Snapchat adverts, spending $200 million on the platform. But this is dwarfed by the company’s plans for Facebook, which owns Snapchat’s main rival Instagram. The world’s largest social media platform will see “well over” $2 billion in marketing budget from WPP this year. That’s a fairly significant raise from last year’s $1.7 billion.

Despite the relatively modest amount of money Sorrell is allocating to Snapchat, he claims to like the platform, saying: “I think Snapchat is potentially more competitive as the third force.” By this, he means the third force in WPP’s online advertising budget, the first two of which are Facebook and Google.

Sorrell has previously discussed the rise of Amazon’s nascent advertising business as something that “keeps him up at night” due to the company’s huge potential in the space, and the uncertainty of what a working relationship with it could look like.

Snapchat, while small in relation to that business, still offers WPP a level of freedom and accessibility with a younger demographic. For now, that gives it the edge.


Dominion holds WPP in its Global Trends Managed Fund.

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