p&g's marc pritchard

Procter & Gamble (P&G) is warning digital media companies that they need a rethink of their ecosystem to build in quality, civility, transparency, privacy and control or risk major brands stepping back from advertising.

Speaking at the Association of National Advertisers media conference in the US yesterday (11 April), the company’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard said that attempts to “retrofit” media and advertising standards onto platforms that weren’t originally built for advertising weren’t working. And so rather than calling for another clean-up of the ecosystem, he is advocating a new way of advertising online that is “good for consumers, our brands, our industry and society”.

“Far too much of the intellectual firepower of our industry is being spent on fixing problems versus focusing on delighting the people we serve,” he said. “The problem is, many of the platforms were not originally built for advertising. They were built for social communication and freedom of expression. We’ve all had a hand in monetising them and we’ve all been trying to retrofit our media and advertising standards for years, but it’s only partially working.

“Rather than calling for endless retrofitting and clean-up, I’d like to offer a new approach. It’s time to invest our brainpower into an ecosystem that builds in quality, civility, transparency, privacy and control from the very start.”

Pritchard outlined how P&G has already taken steps to move to this new media supply chain. On quality, it will only buy media from places where content quality is “known, controlled and consistent with its values”.

P&G is now choosing to advertise only on ‘safelisted’ channels and is pivoting to more precise placement, as well as forming partnerships with new platforms that prove from the start their content is “safe and under their…