Tom Denford and David Indo of ID Comms: P&G calls the most important pitch of 2017

On this week’s #MediaSnack Tom and David consider the announcement by P&G to launch a media agency pitch in some key European markets including U.K., Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Nordics and Ireland with media budgets across the region estimated at around $500m.

All the major agency groups are likely to participate and this will be one they all want to win, if for different reasons.

Firstly there’s the scale of the pitch that makes it attractive but the real motivation is that it comes at a time when P&G has set down a marker for what it expects from media, and digital in particular, in terms of transparency in Marc Pritchard’s speech to the IAB.

It’s a pitch that will test agencies as never before and the industry will inevitably regard the winner of the P&G account to have delivered to Marc Pritchard’s high standards, and by implication that the losing agencies fell short of expectations.

A win for relative ‘newbie’ Hearts & Science would validate its agency model, creating a new blueprint for other groups to follow. A loss could be regarded as catastrophic to Hearts & Science’s ambitious international expansion plans. Rivals will use it as an indication that Hearts & Science has an Achilles heel.

A win for one of the other groups would help them position themselves as “more transparent” than the others, whether fairly or not. Such is the impact of having P&G’s endorsement.

It is possible that the other agency groups will use the P&G brief to forge their own disruptive media agency model, much in the way Omnicom did with Hearts & Science to win the US account in 2016.

Tom and David point out that other advertisers planning media pitches in Europe this will want to watch P&G closely. The scale of pitch, which will attract intense focus from the agency groups, presents a risk as agencies apply all their resources to win P&G.

This means not just good pricing, added value and other commercial elements, but also the agency’s top talent, most strategic creative thinkers and the best innovations. Everyone will be in the queue behind P&G for the next couple of months.

To learn more about what P&G’s new T&Cs mean for other brands sign up for an ID Comms webinar here.

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