@ UBS Media Week: Sorrell: WPP Looks To Emerging Markets For Next Wave Of Digital Acquisitions

Laying out the challenges and opportunities facing advertising companies, Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP Group’s CEO, opened his presentation for the UBS Global Media & Communications conference with a comparison of Google (NSDQ: GOOG) to the major ad holding companies. Google’s market cap is four times higher than WPP and its top rival ad firms put together. But its revenues are less than Omnicom Group, the largest of the ad agency parents. “The market is saying something about the digital space,” Sorrell said. “And that’s the challenge we face.”

Market cap comparisons: “We have a $15 billion market cap. If I take Publicis Groupe, which is roughly half that, and IPG, which is a third of that, its a combined $50 billion market cap. And all those companies’ revenues put together is $33 billion. In comparison, Google’s revenues are two-thirds of the top four ad holding companies and its market cap is more than four times those same companies.”

The goal: Currently, 23 percent of WPP’s business is digital. “This is a big difference from seven years ago. I would never be happy