Fortune profiles Irwin Gotlieb, who runs media-buying giant GroupM, which controls a mind-blowing $59 billion in ad dollars — more than 16% of the global pie. Little in the way of news, though writer Jessi Hempel does get to dine with Irwin in both London (egg white omelet) and New York (sushi). But the piece does a nice job of summarizing Irwin’s goals — he wants to take the data-rich Web ad model and transfer it to every other kind of media buying, which still relies on educated guesswork.
Of course, this is just what Google is trying to do, which makes Google both a competitor and a vendor (GroupM bought $300 million worth of search ads from Google last year). And since GroupM is a unit of WPP, and WPP CEO Martin Sorrell likes to poke at Google, Irwin obligingly follows suit with this soundbite:
“Google can do something without regard for whether they can actually make money on it,” he says. “That can be very destabilizing to the rest of the business.”
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