Procter & Gamble will 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.
The review forms part of a four-part plan the business has put in place to clean up its supply chain and gain greater control over the quality of its media strategy.
Speaking at the IAB’s annual leadership meeting in the US, chief brand officer Marc Pritchard said advertisers are “wasting too much time and money on a media supply chain with poor standards adoption, too many players grading their own homework, too many hidden touches and too many holes to allow criminals to rip us off.
“We accepted multiple viewability metrics, publishers reporting with no verification, outdated agency contracts and fraud threats with the somewhat delusional thought that digital is different and that we were getting ahead of the digital curve. We’ve come to our senses and realised there is no sustainable advantage in a complicated, non-transparent, inefficient and fraudulent media supply chain.”
It isn’t the first time a brand has expressed disdain for industry practices, with Unilever CMO Keith Weed also expressing his concern over measurement and ad fraud in the industry.
While Weed called for 100% viewability, as part of P&G’s 2017 plans, Pritchard will adopt the Media Rating Council’s-validated viewability standard of an ad being at least 50% in view for at least one second and two for video.
It will also no longer accept media owners measuring their own inventory. The FMCG business will expect every media supplier - including publishers and measurement vendors - to adopt MRC-accredited third party verification.
The third point will be a review of all of the FMCG-giant's agency contracts in the coming year in the quest for greater transparency.
P&G works with MediaCom in this market.
Pritchard has been outpoken in the past about the need for improvements. Last year the brand, which is arguably one of the biggest advertisers in the world, scaled back its advertising efforts on Facebook after finding its targeted ads had limited effectiveness.
Action four is to prevent ad fraud, which will see P&G insist that any entity touching digital media must become TAG-certified during 2017 to help ensure that it is free from fraud.
P&G has given its agencies and media suppliers a year’s notice of its new plans, and said it will take its business elsewhere if agencies don’t comply.
As Pritchard concluded: “P&G is taking action because it’s good for consumers, good for our business, and responsible for the industry. Don’t be fooled by the myths. Don’t accept the excuses. Don’t wait for someone else to move. Don’t be daunted by the task. Take one step at a time. There is tremendous power in the collective force of our industry.”
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