Procter & Gamble calls for a change to the annual TV ad buying process
Senior Marketing Manager at Procter & Gamble Co. called for changes to the initial annual television process at the Association of National Advertisers Media and Measurement Conference, criticizing a decades-old method of buying of television commercials as outdated and ineffective.
During the initial negotiations each spring, media buying agencies working on behalf of marketers commit to buying bulk TV ad time for fall and winter programming.
Marc Pritchard, brand director for the consumer products company, asks for a later initial market, as well as more flexibility when purchasing ads closer to the time they appear.
“A better name than the ‘initials’ might be ‘FOMO’,” he said in the speech, according to a transcript provided by
referring to the abbreviated term for “fear of missing something”. “We almost always end up buying too much, but we can buy ‘options’ to reimburse certain expenses without penalty – and avoid the open ‘scatter market’ where even higher prices are extremely penalizing. Buying too much inventory is inefficient at best, and at worst results in excessive frequency due to heavy ad loads in programs, annoying consumers and wasting money. “
Mr Pritchard said early information allowed media companies to glean information on customers’ budget forecasts. They use this information to determine inventory availability and keep prices high for marketers despite long-term decline in TV ratings.
P&G is making more direct deals with television networks and relying less on media buying agencies, he said in his speech. “We have taken control of when we trade and buy TV media,” he said. “To level the playing field, we negotiate directly with as many people as possible.”
Agencies that typically buy on behalf of large advertisers like P&G, which works with
Dentsu Inc. of
Omnicom Group Inc. of
Hearts & Science still play an important role, Mr. Pritchard said. He did not specify what that role was.
He also criticized the debut to work on the television networks’ fall-winter schedule relative to the calendar year around which most advertisers are planning.
Earlier this year, senior marketing executives from the Association of National Advertisers, of which P&G is a member, asked for a delay this year, as the global pandemic has taken its toll on advertising budgets and television production.
The marketplace has indeed been delayed, in large part due to the uncertainty surrounding the industry, especially as sports leagues have delayed seasons and games.
P&G wants the lagged market to stay.
Mr. Pritchard did not say that P&G would no longer participate in the original shares. Rather, it calls for changes to the initial process, a spokesperson said.
Mr Pritchard also called on social media platforms to filter their content better or prepare for more government regulation.
“Social media makes up about 5% of P & G’s marketing spend, but it’s 150% of our problems,” he said in the speech. “We’re tired of wasting time monitoring content. It’s time for digital platforms to properly enforce content standards so that we can spend time doing good and driving growth. History has shown that when industries cannot self-regulate sufficiently, governments can intervene. “
Write to Alexandra Bruell at [email protected]
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