IPA responds to P&G’s call for transparency in the media supply chain

The IPA has responded to Procter & Gamble’s announcement of a four-point plan to improve transparency in the media supply chain, as set out by Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard.

Says Paul Bainsfair, Director General, IPA: “Marc Pritchard should be applauded for his candour in cataloguing P&G’s advertising misgivings about forging ahead of the digital curve. It was an important speech and he challenged the industry on a number of issues. We have been in the vanguard in tackling many of the problem areas he highlighted.”

According to P&G, the new plan will help the business exert greater control over the quality of its media strategy and ultimately create better advertising.

Below we list the individual elements of the P&G plan, alongside our response and activity:

1) Adopt one viewability standard
This is very sensible for simplicity’s sake and something agencies would appreciate in terms of clarity. Of course some businesses have adopted a different standard, as is their prerogative, so you can appreciate the media supply chain will have to work out how to manage this. Also different viewability vendors can report different results for the same campaign even when MRC accredited. In the UK we have done a tremendous amount of work on this via JICWEBS with our partner associations ISBA, IAB and AOP.

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 champions credible independent measurement and is an active participant/stakeholder in many of the Joint Industry Committees whose primary purpose is to achieve just that. Of course, in an increasingly complicated media landscape there are also the not insubstantial costs associated with independent measurement but it is in everyone’s interest to find solutions to these challenges.

3) Get transparent agency contracts
Partnership between media agencies and advertisers requires consideration of a spectrum of inter-related matters. These range from fairly specific challenges such as the conduct and capabilities of media auditors and other intermediaries, through pitch practices such as the prioritisation of cost savings as an objective, to the relatively limited attention paid to value generation and effectiveness compared to cost efficiencies. The UK is a different market to the US but we are engaging constructively with ISBA, the UK advertiser trade body, to consider the whole picture of client/media agency relations. We note the constructive comments made about agency contract compliance, shared client/agency responsibilities and the acknowledgment of the need for fair remuneration for agencies. 

4) Prevent Adfraud
Agencies are absolutely onboard with this both via participation in TAG in the US and support via the IPA for UK cross industry anti-fraud work by JICWEBS. The latter has this week resulted in the issuing of the first anti-fraud certification seals. 

Last updated 21 January 2022