Procter & Gamble, the world's largest ad spender, apparently came out with guns blazing at agencies and media on Sunday at the Inactive, oops, Interactive Advertising Bureau's annual "leadership" conference.
Bravo to P&G's Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard for giving the corrupt, fraud-laden, sneaky creeps running the online media world a nice healthy ass-whooping. According to a story in Ad Age, Pritchard told the group...
"The days of giving digital a pass are over... It's time to grow up. It's time for action."Pritchard laid out 3 criteria for publishers and agencies before they'll get any of his money.
1. A standard "viewability" metric.
2. Fraud protection
3. Third party verification of metrics.
"Mr. Pritchard said the company has vowed to no longer pay for any digital media, ad tech companies, agencies or other suppliers for services that don't comply with its new rules." According to Ad Age.This is a big step forward. For over a decade agencies have been the lapdogs of the online media industry -- timidly accepting all kinds of arrogant horseshit and slippery numbers from them -- and clients have been paying the price.
Pritchard called online media practices, “murky at best and fraudulent at worst.”
I could nitpick P&G's first two criteria. The viewability metric they are willing to accept is a joke. And fraud protection is very shakey - the fraudsters are way ahead of the cyber security boys.
But I'm willing to accept those imperfect steps as a move forward. The big one is the last one. Are they really going to require Facebook and Google to open the kimono and let us see what's going on through 3rd party verification? That would be big.
Remember, the online advertising industry is essentially two companies: Facebook and Google -- the rest are rats and mice. The FB-GOOG duopoly has been getting away with murder.
As I've said on many occasions, Facebook would never voluntarily open up their metrics to third party verification unless clients threatened to pull money. Maybe this move by P&G will finally help the advertising and marketing industry grow a pair.