IPA responds to latest P&G developments

On behalf of the IPA’s member agencies, Director General Paul Bainsfair has commented on how the industry has progressed in the year since P&G’s Marc Pritchard outlined four key action points to “clean up the media supply chain”.

The wider cross-industry reaction, including the IPA’s comments, can be found as reported in Campaign, while the full IPA response is detailed below:

On the recent announcement that that P&G will be further reducing its agency numbers, IPA Director General Paul Bainsfair says:

“P&G understand better than most advertisers that advertising builds business. They will have their own reasons for wanting to streamline their roster so it’s difficult to comment on this in particular. It is good to hear, however, that’s they plan to increase ad spend. Taking some media in house will only ever make sense if it is on a limited basis. I don’t believe P&G would ever think they could do this without the expertise and know-how of media specialist agencies.”

On how the IPA thinks the industry has reacted to each of the specific action points outlined by Marc Pritchard last year:

Action 1 - Adopt one viewability standard

“As we said this time last year, for simplicity’s sake this makes a lot of sense if you’re a brand advertiser. As we know from IPA Binet/Field research, online video alongside TV is the greatest brand building form. There is also strong evidence that fully visible ad frames can be more important than full duration. That is why in the UK we have called for 100% of pixels to be in view and this aligns with the largest single ad buying point globally. Unfortunately, even brand advertisers can’t all agree on this standard. Further, performance advertisers want a free hand to optimise unfettered by a single standard. So within the parameters of giving all advertisers what they want I would score us 8/10.”

Action 2 - Implement accredited third-party measurement verification

“This is directed at media owners especially those with ‘walled gardens’, and who are increasingly controlling a larger proportion of digital ad spend, marking their own homework. The IPA and ISBA champion credible independent measurement and are active participants/stakeholders in many of the Joint Industry Committees whose primary purpose is to achieve just that. This is why in June last year we made a collective call for more accountable media data via our “A Matter of Fact” initiative. The IPA followed this up with letters to Google and Facebook in August calling on them to clean up safety, measurement and viewability. Significant progress has been made in third-party verification but there is more to do in audience measurement. 6/10.”

Action 3 – Get transparent agency contracts

“We have been working closely with ISBA to improve the overall spectrum of media agency/client relations and we take pride in the fact that our UK approach has been far more collaborative than in some other markets. As with any other service provider, many agencies will have their own terms of business, but they will often be prepared to consider and negotiate draft terms that clients bring to them. Fair and reasonable terms will invariably be agreed, of course, whoever’s original document is used as the starting point. This doesn’t mean the end result will necessarily resemble the start point, and the more one-sided a document starts off, the more time it will take to conclude, but the general sense we have is that agencies appreciate that transparency is important to advertisers, and advertisers appreciate that agencies provide highly skilled services for which they deserve fair and reasonable terms. 7/10.”

Action 4 - Prevent ad fraud

“The UK is at the forefront of preventing ad fraud. We instigated our own anti-fraud initiative via the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) in 2016. In 2017 JICWEBS partnered with its US counterpart TAG (Trustworthy Accountability Group) to clean up the digital supply chain. All 22 of the IAB UK’s Council members have signed up to their Gold Standard which requires the implementation of TAG’s ads.txt anti-fraud initiative and this week JICWEBS and TAG announced a new three-stage partnership to provide a consistent approach for brand advertisers. 8/10.”

The IPA are in ongoing cross-industry dialogue on all of these issues, including regular meetings with JICWEBS founding members including ISBA, the IAB and the AOP. In addition, Ronan Harris, Vice President & MD of Google UK & Ireland will be attending the next IPA Council meeting in March to discuss latest developments, while IPA representatives will meet with ISBA Council Members in February.

Last updated 21 January 2022