P&G Must Be Thanked For Transparency Action, Not Just Talk

There is a hugely interesting article in Marketing Week today, which highlights not just that the magazine named P&G's marketing chief its most "visionary" marketer of the year, but more interestingly, why Marc Pritchard decided to put his head above the parapet. 

It was his speech at the start of the year that has done more to bring action over transparency than any other talk anyone in marketing can think of. So the magazine asked him what was behind the speech. What made him want to stand up and be counted at the start of the year?

The answer was very simple. He had just had enough and wanted action, so he used a speaking opportunity to do exactly that. And it wasn't just a speech. The FMCG giant is right up there with Unilever for making this the year where exasperation over media transparency is turned into action.

Both FMCG giants are reducing their rosters, expecting to get more done with the same media assets (typically using the same content for multiple locations and for longer campaigns) and keeping a firm eye on where their budget goes and what they get for it in return. 

Paying closer attention to the metrics has also shown P&G, Pritchard admits, that is was barking up the wrong tree by trying to place video ads that were simply its television campaign presented in an MPU. Closer attention to what it was spending and what it was getting for the budget showed that only around 25% of its budget is actually seen by consumers -- and it also learned that very few were paying attention to video for more than a couple of seconds. 

Thus, he now confirms that video advertising is not a case of dumping a tv commercial online but instead short snippets that only assume the viewer is paying attention for two seconds is used. These feature heavy branding -- a reminder of its world-famous brands more than an educational piece trying to raise awareness. 

I think you only have to look at how quickly Facebook has been forced to question and revise its own video metrics to gain an understanding of how this new bold call to arms on transparency is forcing the big media owners to clear up what Pritchard called a "murky" landscape. The same goes for Google over extremist content on YouTube. A boycott prompted immediate action on better technology to filter extremist and hate content, so big brand names stood less of a chance of being embarrassed.

So, after many years of talk, we have Pritchard to thank for getting as fed up as everyone else with transparency not moving beyond talk and making 2017 the year that talk was turned into action. 

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