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It’s a fist in the face of the media industry. Marc Pritchard, CMO of P&G, swung his baseball bat eloquently from the central stage at Dmexco, right in the whitened teeth of the mostly digital audience. In nutshell, he blames poor overall viewability, shady agency contracts and deals, a blatant lack of transparency, a lack of third party verification, a worrying loom of ad fraud, and the incompetence to deliver corporate and product messages in a secure and brand safe environment for the fact that more than $200 billion in digital and $600 billion in traditional spending is showing a meager ROI of a disappointingly low-single-digit sales growth.

There is no 1.7 second orgasm
Citing average digital ad viewing times of 1.7 seconds, and not even 80% of ads viewed longer than 2 seconds, Pritchard also pointed out that just reshuffling 30 second spots into 2 second ads is clearly not cutting the cake. “Frankly”, he said, “most of these ads are annoying. Especially in the context of social media. They do not add value to the consumer.” Pritchard earlier pulled the handbrake on over 200 million in programmatic buying, and announced he is not interested in the dark side of the long tail, where brand safety cannot be guaranteed.

Toilet paper on your timeline
His frustration is clearly also on the fact that with all the data available, there is still a failure to deliver an ad in the right context, to the right target, at right time. On top of that, the message is most often poor, annoying, and not relevant to the target audience. “How many toilet paper ads do you really want to see popping up in your Facebook feed?”

The only way is up
But it is not all doom and anger, Pritchard is confident that the combined industries are working towards an adoption of his five point charter (validated viewability standard, accredited third party verification, transparent agency contracts, tag-certified ad prevention and ensured brand safety). He also invites all players to shake the dust of, and aim for advertising on the best channels, in a safe environment, with better content that ads value, is original, and “ads to the good”. He pointed out that campaigns like #likeagirl (Always) are probably the way to go.

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