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Ad mogul Martin Sorrell hints Facebook could soon become WPP's second largest media investment

  • WPP, the world's largest advertising group, will keep Google as its top media investment in 2017.
  • However, Sorrell suggested the firm's client portfolio could be set to see Facebook move ahead of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in second place.
  • When asked about WPP's decision to double its investment in Snap from last year despite a number of market jitters, Sorrell described the group's commitment as a "flea on the elephant's backside".

Advertising mogul Martin Sorrell told CNBC on Wednesday his company is poised to increase its investment in Facebook to "well over" $2 billion this year.

WPP, the world's largest advertising group, will keep Google as its top media investment in 2017. However, Sorrell suggested the firm's client portfolio could be set to see Facebook move ahead of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in second place.

"Google ranks number one in terms of the destinations of our media investments. Facebook ranks third (but) may this year actually become second," the CEO of WPP told CNBC on Wednesday morning.

Sorrell explained WPP's investment in Google amounted to approximately $6 billion, while the amount put in to Mark Zuckerberg's social media network is set to increase to more than $2 billion in 2017, up from $1.7 billion in 2016. Google's parent Alphabet has a market capitalization of about $646 billion and Facebook $492 billion.

Snap a 'flea on the elephant's backside'

When asked about WPP's decision to double its investment in Snap from last year despite a number of market jitters, Sorrell described the group's commitment as a "flea on the elephant's backside".

"Our spending on Snap for example which last year was $100 million and our spending this year is projected at $200 million pales in to relative insignificance to the investment that is made in to Google…or in Facebook.

"That doesn't mean, I have to say, that Snap does not present an alternative in the long term," he added.

Wall Street appeared to show signs it may finally be warming to Snap on Tuesday. The stock closed 7 percent higher after an industry report projected that fewer teens would use Facebook in 2017, opting for Snap or Instagram instead.

Snap has endured a prolonged selling streak for much of the summer and despite closing higher for five of the past six sessions, the stock is still down around 28 percent over the past three months.