You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Procter & Gamble’s Marketing Chief Calls for Advertisers to Demand Higher Quality From Media

Procter & Gamble backs billion-dollar products like Crest, Tide and Pampers. Now it wants another one: safer media.

Marc Pritchard, the consumer-products giant’s chief brand officer and one of Madison Avenue’s most prominent figures, on Thursday urged advertisers to demand better quality of content and audience measurement from media outlets. His remarks represent,the latest call from a big-spending marketer for the media industry to enforce higher standards at a time when new digital venues have given rise to offensive videos, inaccurate measures of audience and less-than-transparent standards around the use of influencers, bots, and social-media accounts.

“Digital media continues to grow exponentially, and with it, a dark side persists, and in some cases, has gotten worse,” Pritchard said in remarks delivered at a conference held by the Association of National Advertisers, an influential trade group among advertisers, that included more than 650 attendees. “Waste continues to exist from lack of transparency and fraud. Seven out of 10 consumers say ads are annoying, and ad blocking is accelerating. Privacy breaches and consumer data misuse keeps occurring. Unacceptable content continues to be available and is still being viewed alongside our brands.”

Pritchard isn’t the first marketing executive to weigh in on the troubles introduced by the migration of consumers to streaming video and social media. Unilever, a P&G consumer-products rival that markets Axe grooming products and Hellman’s mayonnaise, last June called for an authenticity check of sorts when dealing with social-media personalities, bloggers, vloggers and the like. The company has also called out social-media outlets that allow offensive remarks that spur division.

But his concerns come as more media outlets and advertisers express open concern about the problems of using digital media. Few universal standards exist when it comes to quality of content or how to measure the audience that sees it. The rise of mobile devices and streaming video has given rise to a dizzying number of on-demand opportunities and measurement companies like Nielsen and Comscore, while moving forward with new products that measure digital viewing, have not gained critical mass when it comes to mapping out new consumer behaviors. And it has created an easier way for people who might never have access to producing a show on a traditional media venue like CBS or HBO to produce video content that isn’t as centered on rules of decorum or civility.

Even big-media chieftains are starting to express concern. In a speech delivered Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger called social media “the most powerful marketing tool an extremist could ever hope for because by design social media reflects a narrow world view filtering out anything that challenges our beliefs while constantly validating our convictions and amplifying our deepest fears.”

Among the standards Pritchard called for are buying commercial inventory from places where the content quality is known, controlled, and consistent with a company’s value and working with media outlets that handle editorial comments “in a way that creates a balanced and constructive discourse.”

He suggested that advertisers push for a specific standard of measurement that will take into account viewing across multiple media platforms, such as a digital “tag” that can be placed on all ads, for all formats across digital and TV, and can be used to control ad frequency.

In a move that could rework existing relationships between big marketers and the ad agencies that serve them, Pritchard suggested advertisers take more control in a world that has grown more chaotic. He advised marketers to create in-house teams to handle the purchasing of ad inventory and deciding where commercials ought to run, as well as gather more consumer data independently from third parties.

Pritchard made his remarks just as many of the biggest media companies in the United States have begun to solicit ad dollars in the industry’s annual “upfront” sales season, when TV networks try to sell the bulk of their ad inventory for the coming programming cycle.

More TV

  • A.P. BIO -- "Melvin" Episode 208

    'AP Bio' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “AP Bio” has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O’Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that “This has been my favorite project of my life.” In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism

    CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism Staffers

    CNN has laid off a handful of staffers from its health-journalism unit after deciding to place its health, climate and Southeastern newsgathering operations under a single aegis. ” As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content