Facebook, Google need to 'step up' control of their platforms, says WPP's Martin Sorrell

BYGeoff Cutmore
Published 12:00 AM ET Mon, 20 March 2017
Pau Barrena | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Facebook and Google's runaway success in capturing large stakes in the digital advertising market comes with responsibilities and they need to do more when curating how advertisements are placed on their platforms, according to WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell.

Sorrell, whose company owns ad agencies such as the Grey Group and Ogilvy & Mather, was speaking to CNBC at the sidelines of the China Development Forum, where he said the two tech giants have to exert more control over ad placements on behalf of brands, and take more responsibility for it.

"They've always maintained they were sort of digital engineers standing there with their digital spanners, trying to tighten the nuts on their digital pipes and not being responsible for the content that was going through the pipes," said Sorrell.

A key criticism leveled against both Facebook and Google is that the companies are not doing enough to arrest fake news on their platforms.