P&G Debunks The Industry's Transparency Excuses


Digital Media Supply Chain is one of the key platforms of the recently released ANA CMO Leadership Agenda. In his keynote yesterday at our Media Leadership Conference, ANA Chair Marc Pritchard shared how Procter & Gamble is approaching media transparency. Given that he speaks for P&G—a company whose “annual budget of more than $7 billion supports 65 brands and messaging that reaches five billion people,’ according to Warc (subscription required)—this was a presentation to which the audience gave their undivided attention.  It builds on his remarks at IAB’s January conference.

Specifically, Marc shared how P&G is debunking the following myths that entities use to slow progress on transparency. These areas are:

  • Viewability Standards
  • Third-Party Verification
  • Transparent Agency Contracts
  • Preventing Ad Fraud

For each issue, he gave a list of “head fakes” (excuses) that he often hears and what the company’s response is:

On Viewability Standards

Head fake: “The MRC standard is the lowest common denominator.”
Response: “Yep, it is, and that’s exactly what we need and want. Remember, viewability means the opportunity to see an ad – did it make it onto the screen where human eyes can see it?”

On Third-Party Verification

Head fake: “We’ll need time, because we have a lot of measurements and ad products to work through.”
Response: “You’ve had time, so let us help you with priorities so you can move faster. At P&G, we want three priority measurements immediately – viewability (opportunity to see), audience reach (how many people saw the ad) and ad frequency (how many times did they see it).

On Transparent Agency Contracts

Head fake: “The contract has no provision on using money as float.”
Response: “Oops. Correct, but we’re now changing the contract to stipulate that the money we pay must be directly and only used for the media we want purchased – not as float. We want an agent, not a principal.”

On Preventing Ad Fraud

Head fake: “Our audience numbers are just what you need.”
Response: “How much of your audience is ‘sourced traffic’? Any publisher using ‘sourced traffic’ means they’re not recruiting humans; they’re generating bots. This is why P&G requires every publisher to get MRC-accredited third-party verification that the audience was a human.”

Read the full coverage at Warc (subscription required).