WPP, the multinational advertising group, has unveiled its AI strategy, signalling a commitment to staying at the forefront of industry innovation.
The advertising giant, anticipating the transformative impact of AI on the sector, plans to invest £250m this year towards AI-focused technologies.
The investment was announced during a capital markets day held in London today (30 Jan), where WPP also announced the successful completion of a comprehensive restructuring effort, consolidating its marketing, advertising, and PR agencies under six prominent networks: AKQA, Ogilvy, VML, Hogarth, GroupM, and Burson.
WPP’s AI technology platform, WPP Open, already used by over 28,000 individuals, has been adopted by clients such as L’Oréal and Nestlé.
In the broader context of advertising and marketing, the global landscape is undergoing significant shifts.
GlobalData’s Thematic Report: AdTech views AI as a potential threat to the advertising industry, capable of replacing various functions traditionally performed by advertising agencies in the creation, planning, and procurement of marketing for major brands.
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AI also opens avenues for companies to independently execute their marketing functions.
Mark Read, Chief Executive of WPP, affirmed that “AI is transforming our industry and we see it as an opportunity, not a threat. We firmly believe that AI will enhance, not replace, human creativity.”
The rise of adtech, driven by AI and advanced advertising technology, is transforming the industry. Major players like Microsoft, Meta, Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet dominate the sector, leveraging AI systems and data to navigate disruptive themes like AI, gaming, and e-commerce.
However, they also face regulatory scrutiny on issues ranging from antitrust to data privacy.
Adtech, valued at $438bn in 2021 and projected by GlobalData to reach $1trn by 2030, is experiencing changes due to regulations like the EU’s GDPR and the shift away from third-party cookies.
Adtech companies are adapting by adopting privacy-first approaches, focusing on first-party data, and incorporating AI to navigate the evolving landscape.
AI-powered ad tools, capable of swift analysis and pattern detection, are becoming essential for ad tech companies to thrive in the post-cookie era.