P&G’s Marc Pritchard: we’re in control of ads now

Procter & Gamble chief brand officer Marc Pritchard (below) is kicking off 2019 by laying the law down to agencies and others (again), telling The Drum: “Advertising is moving into influencer more and more than it ever has and it’s moving into different kinds of content models. We’re reinventing agency partnerships to where we get our hands on the keyboard, and also reinventing citizenship.

“Brands for many years have been all about ‘me’. ‘I’m a brand – let me tell you all about me.’ What we want to do is shift that to brands who are all about ‘you’, and all about the world, that are about being a force for good and a force for growth. That is exciting and that is I think the future of what we’ll see in 2019.”

To this end P&G has created about 130 internal “start-ups” (consisting of three or four people) to grapple with the marketing issues it faces.

Nothing especially new about the latter, many big companies do it these days. In a way it’s outsourcing (or maybe insourcing) what used to be the R&D department.

But marketers with their “hands on the keyboard” is quite a dramatic step, in effect replacing agency suits and planners. P&G has also formed an agency from its existing roster to handle fabric care in the US.

The test for any of these developments is: do they work? For P&G it presumably means better, more relevant advertising while the challenge for its agencies (in their reduced role perhaps) is to show they can still do it better.

Pritchard’s musings will be music to the ears of S4 Capital’s Sir Martin Sorrell whose MediaMonks is perfectly positioned to be the creative – or “execution” – department for any number of in-house agencies.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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