The final issue of Portfolio magazine has an interview with Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP Group.
As head of the marketing communications giant, Sorrell oversees more than 100 companies specializing in everything from advertising to consumer research.
Recently Sorrell had characterized his firm’s relationship with Google as that of “frenemies.”
In the Portfolio interview, Sorrell reclassifies WPP’s relationship with Google as “friendly frenemy” because Google competes with WPP through its acquisition of Doubleclick.
Sorrell then goes on to say what I believe hadn’t yet otherwise been made public before … “we buy about $850 million worth of search advertising from them. We’re their biggest agency customer.”
At an average CPC of $1.00, WPP’s $850 million spend on search advertising with Google would generate 850 million clicks.
Although I am not absolutely certain Sir Martin – and unless eBay has doubled or tripled its Adwords spend recently – I think buying $850 million worth of search advertising from Google not only makes WPP Google’s largest agency client – its also makes WPP Google’s largest customer – period.