The planet’s biggest advertiser, FMCG behemoth Proctor & Gamble, has reportedly culled its digital advertising spend by $US140 million ($A175 million) in the last quarter amid concerns the ads were being shown next to inappropriate YouTube content, the ads themselves were ineffective and the audiences were fake and driven by bots.
The cuts to spends were reportedly mostly done in the US market where P&G spends a reported $US2.4 billion a year on advertising. It’s global spend is said to more like $US7.2 billion.
In an earnings statement published on the US trade site Ad Week over the weekend, the company said: “Digital ad spending was lower versus a high base period and due to current period choices to temporarily restrict spending in digital forums where our ads were not being placed according to our standards and specifications.”
As the planet’s biggest spender, P&G has also been one of the industry’s biggest critics too. The company’s chief brand officer, Marc Pritchard, a regular critic of media agencies and creatives.
In February, Pritchard launched a stinging attack of media agencies transparency, calling them “murky at best and fraudulent at worst”.
In April, Pritchard turned his rage to creatives, suggesting they need to make fewer ads that were more memorable.
Pritchard said: “We’ve cut the amount of work we do, but we can go much further by focusing on fewer and better ideas that last longer. We get tired of ads a lot faster than consumers do.
“A brand manager once told me they change ads every six months. ‘Why?’ I asked. ‘Because it’s on my work plan.’ Not a good reason. We need to stop chasing our tails and have the courage to do less,” he said.