Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) chief brand officer Marc Pritchard has revealed that the FMCG giant will review all its agency contracts in 2017, with the aim of bringing transparency to the “murky at best, fraudulent at worst” media supply chain.
The review, which comes as part of a four-point plan revealed at the IAB’s annual leadership meeting in Florida, aims to drive growth.
“For P&G, creativity isn’t simply a ‘nice to have’, it’s a must-have,” said Pritchard. “The companies in this room have enabled this creativity through digital technology. Before digital technology, we were constrained.
“Now we have freedom to spread our wings, to venture where no creative has been before, at lightning speed, and the result can be magnificent works of craft, but there’s a dark side. At the same time, we’ve seen an exponential increase in crap – crappy advertising, accompanied by even crappier viewing experiences.
Pritchard continued that, in order to drive growth, better advertising enabled by transparent media driving a clean media supply chain was needed, requiring a greater time and money investment.
“We’re all wasting way too much time and money on a media supply chain with poor standards. Too many players grading their own homework, too many hidden touches, and too many holes to allow criminals to rip us off,” he said.
“We have a media supply chain that is murky at best and fraudulent at worst. We need to clean it up. It’s time we come together, put down our finger-pointers and solve these problems – all of us, marketers, agencies, publishers, ad tech platforms, suppliers together. Frankly, this is a matter of collective will.”
Pritchard felt the problems and solutions were not new, referencing in his four point plan the need to adopt one viewability standard, implement a credited, third-party measurement verification, get transparent agency contracts and prevent ad fraud. Yet, for many reasons, he felt enough action had not been taken to make a difference.
“Maybe one reason is that cleaning up the media supply chain is not a very sexy topic. But maybe there is another reason.
“I will confess that P&G believed the myth that we could be first-mover on all of the latest shiny objects, despite the lack of standards and measurement and verification. We’ve come to our senses.
“We realised there is no sustainable advantage in a complicated, non-transparent, inefficient and fraudulent media supply chain. If we all do our part, we all benefit,” he added.
According to the World Federation of Advertisers, 90% of marketers are looking to increase transparency through reviews of agency contracts, with rival Unilever attempting to address the issue through enforcing stricter guidelines.
“Better advertising and media transparency are very closely related. Why? Because better advertising requires time and money yet we’re wasting too much of it on a media supply chain with poor standardisation, too many players grading their own homework, too many hidden touches and too many holes to allow criminals to rip us off.”
It follows a drive by P&G to reduce its agency costs. In 2015, the company cut the number of agencies it worked with by 40% from a total of 6,000, helping it to save around $200m – with “more room” for efficiencies.