P&G's Pritchard tells agencies to get simpler

Dive Brief:

  • At the 4A’s Transformation show this week, P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard continued his call for more transparent digital advertising and added a new element in also seeking more simplicity in the agency business per Adexchanger.
  • Pritchard bemoaned the day when media agencies separated from advertising agencies, the disappearance of the one-stop agency shop and the proliferation of specialist shops that don't communicate with one another. "Bottom line: We need you to get simpler," he said, according to the report. 
  • Pritchard also praised P&G’s agency partners amid what he acknowledged have been rough years business-wise and encouraged the industry to look forward. “It’s time to turn the page. We can’t return to the glory days of the past, but we can take our game up to a new, higher level of performance.”

Dive Insight:

Pritchard said advertising has become “too complex,” and even though the industry sees around $6 billion in investment globally, it faces slow growth because of the complexity, cost and what he called “crap,” saying it was a bad combination for everyone.

The agency fragmentation Pritchard referred to is just one part of the problem and it can be partially blamed on the many large shops that, going back 10 years, decided against becoming experts in digital and social media, leaving the business open to specialty shops popping up, according to Michael Farmer, president of Farmer & Company, in an interview with Marketing Dive. As digital and social have grown, many of these smaller businesses have been acquired but not necessarily integrated across the business. As a result, there are numerous boutique agencies — both independent and operating within the agency holding groups — that service specific marketing channels, platforms and even digital buying methods.

One agency that is trying to simplify its structure is Ogilvy, which recently undertook a major restructuring of its agencies in an effort to become more simplified and support cross-discipline expertise. 

Pritchard first made public waves in January at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting when he said P&G would pull its substantial digital ad spending from any platform that didn’t get third-party Media Rating Council accredited verification for viewability standard on ads by the end of the year. So far Google and Facebook have taken the most steps to meet Pritchard’s demand.

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