Intrusive ads kill great content; publishers must take responsibility

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 21 June 2017

Publishers shouldn’t forget they have a responsibility to ensure the consumer experience is not impacted by intrusive ads, says P&G’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard.

Speaking at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, the top marketing boss alluded to the fact that instead of being swayed by advertiser demand for certain ad formats, publishers need to step up, fight for the consumer and keep intrusive ad formats at bay.

“Where I see the most lack of engagement is in the crappy media publisher experiences where you go on and then get hit with a bunch of ads and it’s just a horrible experience – you actually don’t want to go to certain places because you know you are going to get pop-up ads,” Pritchard said.

“That’s now where the adblockers are happening and that’s why it’s the publisher’s responsibility to really get that quality and craft approach to the content and the ads right.

“They may have some great content but if it’s surrounded by ads I’m not going to go there. That’s one of the changes that needs to happen - improving this - and we all have a responsibility here.” 

The Economist panel

As well as highlighting brand safety and having an industry standard third party measurement as two top priorities, Pritchard  (above centre) went on to talk about relationships with agencies and how they need to be “our best business partners”.

He admitted that P&G hasn’t been the best partners to agencies over the past few years, but stressed that it is “recommitting itself to the partnership”.

“The best partnerships are the ones that focus on the total business, not just the creative, not just the PR, not just the in-store. Solving business problems can only be done when you are focused on doing fewer things better, in order to build the brand,” Pritchard said.

He said the reason it got into so many issues as a brand is because it focused on too many little things and that “produced crap, complexity and cost”.

“It’s time for us to step back, wipe the slate clean, start over and get with our partners, who are in my view, some of the best people in the world to be able to build our brand with.”

Pritchard hit industry headlines in January after announcing P&G would review all of its agency contracts in 2017, vowing to put an end to “murky” and “fraudulent” practices within the industry and crack down on rip-offs related to digital marketing.

During the discussion at Cannes he said the company is “about 40 – 50%” of the way through a huge review of all of its media agency contracts in its quest for greater transparency.

Want more? See Adland’s anaemic growth rate won’t do; less 'crap' and more progress needed; P&G.

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