“Stop this fraud!” P&G Chief tells marketing industry

By - CTL
February 7, 2017


By Marcus Honesta.

Well it had to happen; but who would have thought the world’s largest FMCG Company would be the one to “Bell The Cat”.

Procter and Gamble’s Marc Prichard (CBO) announces the FMCG giant will be overhauling and reviewing all agency contracts and embracing industry-wide transparency and viewability standards to combat poor media supply chain practices.

“It’s time marketers and advertisers stopped giving digital a “free pass” and cracked down on the “fraudulent” and “murky” practices that continue to pervade the industry”, Pritchard, says.

He was addressing the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Leadership Summit in the US late in January 2017; in it he called out those who continue to allow a lack of transparency in media, and outlined a multi-point plan being launched by P&G this year aimed at improving digital media supply chain accountability.

“We need better advertising to drive growth, enabled by media transparency, to drive a clean and productive media supply chain. Better advertising and media transparency are closely related. Better advertising requires time and money, yet we’re all wasting way too much time and money on a media supply chain with poor standards and options”.

“Too many players are grading their own homework, too many hidden touches and too many holes to allow criminals to rip us off. We have a media supply chain that’s murky at best, and fraudulent at worst. We need to clean it up, then invest the money and time we save into better advertising to drive growth.”

Pritchard said P&G was as much to blame for the challenges facing the media supply chain as any other player in the market.

“I confess P&G believed the myth, that we could be the first mover on all the shiny new options despite the lack of measurements and verification,” he said. “We accepted multiple viewability metrics, publishers self-reporting with no verification, outdated agency contracts and fraud threats with the somewhat delusional thought that digital is different and we were getting ahead of the digital curve.”

“We have come to our senses, and realise there is no sustainable advantage in a complicated, non-transparent, inefficient and fraudulent media supply chain. Getting to a clean, productive supply chain is the level playing field we all want and need. The basis for competitive advantage is our brands, our advertising craft, and the quality of product and package experience for consumers.”

He tabled P&G’s plan to address these issues it is as follows:

Action one is to adopt one viewability standard – P&G has decided to accept the one MRC-validated viewability standard.

Action two is to implement accredited third-party measurement verification – P&G is expecting every media supplier, including publishers and measurement vendors, to adopt MRC-accredited third party verification during 2017.

Action three is to get transparent agency contracts – P&G is now reviewing every agency contract for full transparency by the end of 2017.

Action four is to prevent ad fraud – P&G is insisting that any entity touching digital media must become TAG-certified during 2017 to help ensure that it is free from fraud.

Finally, action five is to vote with our dollars – P&G has made it clear that these are the steps that it expects its partners to take and comply with to achieve a transparent, clean, and productive media supply chain. This will include a full review of all agency contracts for greater transparency, adopting the Media Rating Council’s viewability standards of an ad being at least 50 per cent in view for one second, or two seconds for video, and the decision to no longer accept media owners who measure their own inventory.


Media Rating Council

The objective or purpose to be promoted or carried on by Media Rating Council is:

  • To secure for the media industry and related users audience measurement services that are valid, reliable and effective.
  • To evolve and determine minimum disclosure and ethical criteria for media audience measurement services.
  • To provide and administer an audit system designed to inform users as to whether such audience measurements are conducted in conformance with the criteria and procedures developed.


Trustworthy Accountability Group

Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) is a first-of-its-kind cross-industry accountability program to create transparency in the business relationships and transactions that undergird the digital ad industry, while continuing to enable innovation. A joint marketing-media industry program, TAG was created with a focus on four core areas: eliminating fraudulent digital advertising traffic, combating malware, fighting ad-supported Internet piracy to promote brand integrity, and promoting brand safety through greater transparency. TAG was created by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and works collaboratively with companies throughout the digital ad supply chain.

4 core areas of work are:



“The problems and solutions aren’t new,” Pritchard said. “Adopt one media viewability standard. Implement accredited third-party measurement verification. Get transparent agency contracts and prevent ad fraud”. “Yet for many reasons, we haven’t taken enough action to make a difference”.

“It’s time we come together, put down our finger pointers and solve these problems. That means all of us; marketers, agencies, publishers, adtech platforms, suppliers. This is a matter of collective will. Surely, if we can invent tech for driverless cars and virtual reality, we can find a way to track and verify media accurately.”

For his full address see the Youtube link below.



2 thoughts on ““Stop this fraud!” P&G Chief tells marketing industry

  1. Тhanks very nice blog!

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