The digital ad industry has had a difficult start to the year following a wider brand safety scandal and concerns around fake news, viewability, verification, transparency and measurement. However, that has not stopped advertisers upping their spend on the two main players.

While WPP says it’s seen a “marked pause” in advertising on YouTube over the first half of the year, it is still “pureplay internet” that is providing nearly all the growth in the UK market. While the TV ad market is holding its market share, other traditional channels are losing out. And boss Sir Martin Sorrell said WPP will continue to up media investment in Google and Facebook.

“There is increasing scrutiny from clients around the effectiveness of digital,” he said, speaking on a call this morning (23 August) following WPP’s half-year results. “But YouTube’s travails over brand safety, fake news, value, viewability, verification, transparency and the Google and Facebook measurement questions, these issues have not stopped or pegged growth of Google and Facebook in our media investment.

“Despite the uncertainties, this hasn’t checked the growth or importance of the duopoly in digital media.”

Google remains WPP’s biggest single media investment, with Sorrell saying he expects the company to spend more than $6bn on the platform this year. And he…