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Sir Martin Sorrell calls Twitter an 'unnecessary diversion' for Elon Musk

Sir Martin Sorrell calls Twitter an 'unnecessary diversion' for Elon Musk

In conversation with Business Today at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, legendary adman Sir Martin Sorrell weighed in on the present and future advertising trends. He also spoke of Twitter.

Sorrell was in conversation with Business Today Executive Director Rahul Kanwal at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Sorrell was in conversation with Business Today Executive Director Rahul Kanwal at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Advertising guru Sir Martin Sorrell, who was at the helm of WPP Group for 33 years, weighed in on tech-led ad marketplaces dominating advertising lately. Of course, there are the leaders - Google and Meta. And then come the Amazons, Bytedances, Alibabas, Twitters, and Snaps of the world.

Talking about Twitter’s latest trysts with advertisers, with scores of them leaving the platform after Elon Musk’s hostile takeover, Sorrell said, “Maybe,  he should have just stuck with a 10 per cent shareholding and a board seat, and not gotten embroiled in this. Because the upside is very little for him.”

Sorrell was in conversation with Business Today Executive Director Rahul Kanwal at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The ad man further said, “Musk has other fish to fry in Tesla and SpaceX and The Boring Company and many other things.  He has to focus on that. Twitter is an unnecessary diversion for him at this time.”

But can Musk, who’s lost $200 billion from his peak fortune, really turn around Twitter’s fortunes? “Well, Elon Musk is incredible. In the BBC documentary on him, one of his employees said he is better than even Einstein. So, be sure to not count him out,” Sorrell stated.  

Sorrell, who’s now the Founder and Executive Chairman of S4 Capital (a tech-led digital advertising and marketing services), painted a gloomy picture for traditional media in 2023 and beyond. 

“The future for traditional media will continue to be under pressure. Clients now ask why they are spending enormous amounts of money on classical TV. And why don’t they move that money to digital, which is easier to monitor and perfect. Ultimately, everything will be digital in some way, shape, or form,” he explained.

Sorrell also picked Microsoft and Netflix as the two potential biggies, along with Apple, in the ad marketplaces business in the future. He even envisions a future where OpenAI’s ChatGPT (in which Microsoft has invested $10 billion) could eventually replace media buying and planning, “and it would be very effective”.

Published on: Jan 16, 2023, 8:30 PM IST
Posted by: Saurabh Sharma, Jan 16, 2023, 8:21 PM IST