Facebook and Alphabet-owned Google must accept that they are media, not technology companies, and deal with inappropriate content on their platforms, Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP told CNBC on Thursday, despite both U.S. firms trying to distance themselves from that label.
The boss of the world's largest advertising firm was responding to questions about the "brand safety" issues seen on both Facebook and YouTube, such as ads being placed next to extremist content and problems with fake news.
Speaking about his first quarter results released on Monday, Sorrell said that the company – which represents around $75 billion globally of media placements – saw clients continue to invest in advertising on Facebook, Google and newer entrants like Snap Inc's Snapchat.
"So investment in digital continues … but you're right, there are these issues like brand safety, like measurability, we've had Facebook admitting on three or four occasions recently that the statistics that they give for their audiences were inaccurate," Sorrell told CNBC in a TV interview.
"And of course, if any traditional medium, just like CNBC did that, they probably would be under extreme pressure if not out of business. So there are some very big issues, Google and Facebook are 75 percent of the digital marketplace … so they are very important and it is important that the data it shares in a more comprehensive way."