- Procter & Gamble Co.’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said many marketers have fallen into a content ‘crap trap’ Thursday at the Association of National Advertiser’s Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando, FL, according to AdAge. Pritchard, who is the vice chairman of the ANA, has spoken on the prevalence of low quality content before, but his keynote yesterday suggested a new solution: easing up the pressure marketers put on their agencies.
Pritchard added that “the negative narrative needs to stop,” which AdAge observed is a sort of olive branch given that an ANA’s report on a lack of agency transparency from the summer is part of what amplified that pressure to begin with. He also suggested that quality needs to take precedence over output and measurement, noting the latter is "not going to make crappy advertising better."
- In related news, the ANA announced the CMO Talent Challenge, an initiative designed to seek out and mentor a new generation of young marketers. The effort, headed by the ANA’s Masters Circle, comes as a response to the industry’s “uncertain” talent pipeline, and is being promoted with the hashtag #TalentFWD.
While the ANA’s report on transparency sparked perhaps the year’s biggest controversy, leading many marketers to audit their ad buyers, Pritchard clearly sees preservation of agent-client relations as essential to the health and sustainability of both parties going forward. Agencies have struggled in recent years to keep pace with an increasingly fragmented media landscape, and the sluggishness has lead brands like PepsiCo to drop their AORs altogether on the digital marketing and social media fronts.
Though Pritchard’s comments arrive as a potential salve to such fractured bonds, he’s not letting agencies — or anyone — off the hook. AdAge reports he said “Our patience has run out,” and that it’s “time to insist that all media partners adopt common, transparent measurement standards and accept third-party verification."
But cooling off on agencies won’t mean much if there are no new marketers to generate quality content to begin with. The CMO Talent Challenge, which asks marketers to spend “at least five hours over the next year talking to students about marketing careers,” among other tasks, demonstrates a wide-spanning and urgent professional concern over the state of the industry.
According to Adweek, ANA’s CEO and President Bob Liodice announced the mentorship program to a crowd of thousands at the Masters of Marketing Conference, saying "Without quality talent, this industry's future is questionable.”
The #TalentFWD campaign then arrives as another component of the ANA's ongoing strategy to address broad industry issues, joining initiatives like the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), which the ANA launched earlier this month to help marketers and advertisers strengthen diversity.