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Marc Pritchard on 5 Actions P&G is Taking to Improve the Media Supply Chain

Friday, April 12, 2019 12:40 pm EDT

The next great revolution in using technology to make people’s lives better is underway, but along with this are potential pitfalls that can’t be ignored: data misuse and privacy breaches, transparency lapses, fraud, brand safety and more.

At the 2019 ANA Media Conference yesterday, Marc Pritchard, P&G Chief Brand Officer, called on the industry to unite and act now to create a New Media Supply Chain grounded in quality, civility, transparency, and privacy—a supply chain that levels the playing field and operates in a way that is clean, efficient and accountable. One that is a force for growth and a force for good—for consumers, brands, the industry and society.

Marc shared the following actions P&G is taking:

Action 1:  Elevate Quality

Brands are judged by the company they keep. 

We want to partner with and buy media from companies where content quality is known, controlled, and consistent with the values of our company and the everyday household and personal care brands we offer.  We want content that is entertaining, informative, and engaging.  We want content that accurately and realistically portrays all people—of all genders, ethnicities, sexual identities, abilities, ages and cultures.  That’s good for society and good for growth, as ads running alongside this kind of quality content have been proven to increase trust and purchase. 

Media providers who elevate quality, ensure brand safety and have control over their content will be the preferred providers for P&G. 

Action 2:  Promote Civility

Editorial comments have become a significant part of the media ecosystem, and we need productive standards of discourse. Free speech is a right, but civility is a responsibility.

The digital media ecosystem enables broad conversations, which are welcome, but technology has made it far too easy to hijack conversations and disproportionately amplify negativity, divisiveness, and even hate. The fact that algorithms can perpetuate and feed like-minded comments can be problematic because it can foment even more negativity, and unintentionally associate brands with inappropriate content. 

P&G welcomes a full range of opinions and productive discussions. However, in the New Media Supply Chain, our providers of choice will be those companies who use the voices on their platforms in a civil and responsible way.   

Action 3:  Level the Playing Field

It’s time to finally deliver cross-platform media transparency through cross-platform media measurement.  

Most companies are well on their way to providing a base level of transparency through viewability measurement, third-party audience verification, transparent agency contracts, fraud prevention and brand safety. This helps us all eliminate wasted spending. It’s time to raise the bar and level the playing field by delivering transparency through measurement across platforms. This means following a common set of rules, standards and practices for cross-platform measurement.  

There are solutions, and P&G is seeking partners who will work with us. To help move the industry forward, read the MRC cross-media audience measurement standards. We encourage everyone to adopt these standards. 

Action 4:  Simplify Privacy

Consumer data is foundational for how we do business today, and a foundation of trust for consumers is how we handle privacy. We all have the responsibility to protect the data we have, and to use it for purposes of serving consumers with better media and advertising experiences.  

Today, there are 27 different laws for handling consumer data in the U.S. alone. Add to that, the approaches required from GDPR in Europe with new laws, legislation and industry approaches on the horizon. All well-intended, but we could soon have an exponential explosion of actions from multiple states, countries, and industries. That will likely lead to complexity and confusion versus better protection of consumer privacy. 

P&G is seeking ONE common privacy standard that applies to all companies. A standard that follows the rules of common sense for consumers, and that is simple and completely understandable, so each person knows exactly what permission they’re granting and what control they have over their data.   

Marc encouraged the industry to unite through the Privacy Paradigm Coalition to address issues and introduce national legislation that puts the consumer at the center. Ultimately, P&G will support common-sense national legislation, and will seek to partner with those who adopt common, simple and responsible privacy practices.  

Action 5:  Take Control

The final step in creating the New Media Supply Chain is marketers operating as brand entrepreneurs by taking control of their own destiny.  At P&G and across the creative industry, we’ve been wowed by shiny objects, overwhelmed by big data, and intimidated by algorithms. Too much work was outsourced. We let ourselves believe media was so technical and advanced we couldn’t possibly handle it ourselves. No more. 

With privacy disclosures to consumers and in compliance with GDPR and other privacy laws, P&G gathers data on our own platforms, and we use that data to accelerate performance analytics, hiring our own data scientists, reducing overall media waste by 20%, while increasing media reach 10%. We’re shifting from generic demographic target audiences to data-driven smart audiences,making a pivot to more effective one-to-one performance marketing. 

We’re also reinventing agency models to bring more media planning and buying in-house—when and where it makes sense. We’ve not only saved nearly $1 billion in agency fees and production costs, we’re getting closer to consumers, working more closely with media providers, eliminating otherwise hidden costs, and placing media where it’s most effective and efficient to reach the people we serve.  

It’s time for a New Media Supply Chain, so we’re asking the industry to come together and create a future where brands are safe, content is of the highest quality, and where measurement standards allow us to improve the consumer experience—a New Media Supply Chain that is a force for growth and a force for good.

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