Here’s Where The World’s Largest Media Buyer Spends Its Money

WPP’s GroupM spends $76 billion a year on media.


Martin Sorrell. Image copyright by World Economic Forum/Photo by Michael Wuertenberg

The world’s largest ad agency holding company, WPP, spends $76 billion annually on advertising through its buying and planning arm, GroupM.

On Thursday, GroupM announced an advertising deal with BuzzFeed. The companies did not disclose the amount GroupM committed to the spending over the span of the one-year deal, but The Guardian reported the total is thought to be less than $100 million. That’s a big coup for BuzzFeed, but the investment pales compared to the $3 billion GroupM spends on search, display, mobile and video with its biggest client, Google.

Here’s how several media companies stack up with GroupM, as reported by The Guardian.

  • Google            $3.0 billion
  • News Corp     $2.5 billion
  • Facebook       $1.0 billion
  • Yahoo            $430 million
  • AOL               $130 million
  • Twitter           $120 million

In 2013, WPP founder and CEO Martin Sorrell announced that Google would soon overtake News Corp as the top recipient of ad investment. TV ad dollars are still flowing heavily to News Corp, which includes Fox media, but Facebook has come on strong, with investment growing from around $270 million in 2013 to $1.0 billion today.

The BuzzFeed deal fulfills the relatively new branding phenomenon of native video — a team will be dedicated to developing made-for-virality sponsored video content for WPP clients that can be distributed on and off BuzzFeed’s popular platforms. WPP agencies will also get access to BuzzFeed’s new POUND technology that can track how and where a piece of content gets shared.

“The future of advertising lies at the intersection of creativity, data, media and technology,” said Rob Norman, chief digital officer at GroupM. “That’s where BuzzFeed has built its business and proved its value to brands.” We’ll have to wait and see if that mix will land BuzzFeed on this list in the near future.

Update: An earlier version of this story said that News Corp was the only traditional media recipient among GroupM’s top investment recipients. A WPP spokesperson says other media outlets such as CBS, NBC, Time Warner and Viacom also rank among this list.

(Some images used under license from


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