The world's biggest ad company plans to spend $200 million on Snapchat this year

Martin Sorrell

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

WPP Group CEO Sir Martin Sorrell.

The CEO of the world's largest advertising group, WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell, said his firm plans to spend $200 million on Snapchat in 2017 during an interview with the news network Cheddar on Thursday.

The figure is more than double the $96 million WPP spent on Snapchat in 2016. And it indicates that Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. was able to secure at least some of the $100 to $200 million upfront commitments it was reportedly seeking from ad agencies earlier this year.

Sorrell told Business Insider in January that advertisers are starting to see Snap as a "third force" to Google and Facebook, which together accounted for nearly all of the revenue growth from digital ads last year.

During his interview with Cheddar on Thursday, Sorrell said that Snap is still "a dwarf in relation to both Google and Facebook," but that he'd like to see the company become a strong third contender. He said he expects Snap to reach $1 billion in ad revenue this year.

The 72-year-old ad chief also cast doubt on Snap labeling itself as a "camera company," noting that he found the definition "a little bit difficult to go along with."

All eyes are on Snap's first quarterly earnings as a public company, which will be reported May 10. Its US revenue is expected to soar 158% to $770 million in 2017, according to eMarketer.

Snap declined to comment.

You can watch Sorrell's full interview with Cheddar below. His comments about Snap were made around the 9 minute mark:

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