- WPP, the leading employer in the advertising industry, reported strong performance in 2022 despite concerns about a pandemic slowdown and high inflation.
- The company is exploring the potential of AI and its ability to support growth in the industry.
- WPP CEO Mark Read believes that AI technology can bring generative AI to life and capture people’s imaginations, but it may not yet be fully developed for prime time.
WPP, the leading employer in the advertising industry, reported a strong performance in 2022, defying concerns of a slowdown due to the pandemic and high inflation. The company is exploring the potential of AI and how it can support growth in the industry.
Embracing Technology Benefits Growth
According to WPP CEO Mark Read, embracing the technology could benefit growth rather than replacing traditional methods. While ChatGPT, search engines like Bing, and other AI tools are being experimented with, Read recognizes that they may not yet be fully developed for prime time.
He said about ChatGPT as “the best technology is like magic.” ChatGPT has the potential to bring generative AI to life and capture people’s imaginations. However, he notes that such technology will unlikely disrupt search marketing in the short term.
During the call, Read stated that people use search engines to find information, book tickets, or plan holidays. Generative AI engines have not yet demonstrated the ability to answer questions better than current search engines.
Mark Read himself experienced factual inaccuracies when he asked ChatGPT to write his bio. He believes there will not be a dramatic shift in search anytime soon, and the question is whether the engines can distinguish between true and false information.
While AI evolves, WPP and its properties will continue to invest in ad-tech systems to improve their offerings. According to Read, the so-called “ad tech tax” is decreasing, which benefits advertisers by allowing more money to be invested in content production.