Is Facebook a Media or Tech Company?

Sorrell, Everson differ at 4A's conference

Don't call Facebook a media company.

Six hours after WPP CEO Martin Sorrell did just that at the 4A's Transformation Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., Facebook's Carolyn Everson took the stage and asserted that her employer is in the technology, not media business.

"I found it fascinating that Martin said this morning that Facebook was a media company—not a technology company. We actually define ourselves as a technology company," said Everson, vp of global marketing solutions at Facebook. 

"Media companies are known for the content that they create. Our approach has been around having open technology and really investing in the best engineering talent, the best infrastructure and providing a platform that not only users can use as their database communications vehicle, but also brands, businesses, non-profits" and industries.

During Sorrell's earlier appearance, he likened Facebook, Google and Twitter to media owners such as News Corp. and Disney. Naturally, it's in Facebook's interest to be seen as much more. In fact, as Everson's interviewer, JWT's David Eastman, pointed out, an initial public offering is on the horizon. 

That's not to suggest that Everson ran afoul of Facebook's pre-IPO quiet period. She made the same assertion she has made in the past, as did Sorrell. Neither is likely to change the other's strongly held opinion, however.

Publish date: March 27, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT