This cartoon was inspired by the talk P&G CMO Marc Pritchard gave on the state of digital advertising at the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting a few weeks ago. His talk is worth reading or seeing in its entirety. Professor and pundit Mark Ritson called it the most important speech about marketing in the last 20 years.
Marc Pritchard addresses the whole digital media supply chain, which he calls “murky at best and fraudulent at worst”:
“We need to clean it up, and invest the time and money we save into better advertising to drive growth. It’s time we come together, put down our finger-pointers and solve these problems – all of us – marketers, agencies, publishers, ad tech platforms, suppliers. Frankly, this is a matter of collective will. Because surely if we can invent technology for driverless cars and virtual reality, we can find a way to track and verify media accurately.
“As we all know, the problems and the solutions are not new – adopt one viewability standard; implement accredited third party measurement verification; get transparent agency contracts; prevent ad fraud. Yet, for many reasons, we haven’t taken enough action to make a difference. Maybe one reason is that cleaning up the media supply chain is not a sexy topic. Let’s face it, it’s a lot more fun to talk about the latest VR experience than bot fraud. Maybe there’s another reason.
“I’ll make a confession, which may sound familiar. I confess that P&G believed the myth that we could be a “first mover” on all of the latest shiny objects, despite the lack of standards and measurements and verification. We accepted multiple viewability metrics, publisher self-reporting with no verification, outdated agency contracts, and fraud threats – with the somewhat delusional thought that digital is different and that we were getting ahead of the digital curve. We’ve come to our senses.”
Marc goes on to share four actions P&G is taking to help nudge the whole digital advertising ecosystem. As the world’s largest advertising, with a $7 billion ad spend, P&G has the clout to make some significant waves. It will be interesting to see the ripple effects.
Here are a couple more cartoons I’ve drawn on this topic over the years.
“We’re Going Digital,” April 2012
“Ad Viewability”, August 2015