For a company with a marketing budget of $ 2.4 billion, it’s not very difficult to make even the most intransigent segments of its supply chain to stand up and listen when it makes a point. Recently when the chief brand officer of P&G, Marc Pritchard said he has had enough of the lackadaisical approach of the biggest gainers from online advertising, Google and Facebook, toward growing cases of online fraud, scams and controversy that affect brand security, it became trending news.
In a way, it has stirred a hornet’s nest if we consider how the other major online advertisers are going to take their respective cues from that.
While speaking at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting in Hollywood, Florida Pritchard set out his terms for spending P&G’s mega ad budget on digital media platforms. He wasn’t ready to give more than a year to the digital platforms especially the duopoly, Google and Facebook, to sort out the mess in their backyards. “Frankly, there’s, we believe, at least 20 to 30 percent of waste in the media supply chain because of lack of viewability, nontransparent contracts, nontransparent measurement of inputs, fraud and now even your ads showing up in unsafe places,” he said.
Information coming out of Facebook suggests that it will soon announce a number of new tools and policies aimed at assuring advertisers that the safety and security of their brand is a top priority for the mega social site. Now, whether it’s due to Pritchard’s warning or because Facebook realizes that brand safety is an idea whose time has come, is not clear but the coincidence is surely making Pritchard’s hardball play look more and more sensible. After all, advertisers, especially those with serious cash in their pockets are getting frustrated by this curious inertia that has gripped the digital platforms surviving and thriving on advertising revenues. It was a timely wakeup call.