Agency shake-up boosts Procter & Gamble

09 March 2010

SAN FRANCISCO: Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, will continue to transform how it works with its advertising agencies, having derived considerable benefits from this approach thus far.

Speaking at the 4A's 2010 Transformation Conference – covered in more detail hereRich DelCore, P&G's finance director, global marketing, praised the firm's strategy in this area.

"We've promised to touch and improve the lives of people around the world with four billion brand interactions a day," he said.

"And we've found the perfect umbrella for transforming how we work with the Brand Agency Leader [model]."

Under this approach, the company selects one agency to head up the marketing efforts for a specific brand, including appointing and invoicing other shops for duties like PR and market research.

Members of this team must agree on a single global fee, and up to 10% of the lead agency's billings are based on factors like sales and share data, as well as P&G's own evaluation of its performance.

According to DelCore, these arrangements have helped the world's biggest advertiser produce more flexible and holistic communications, and reflect the increasingly global nature of its business.

"In the past, we would have six creative briefs, six creative directions. Now we have one. One brief. One meeting. One channel. One idea that goes forward to generate consistent communications to our consumer," he argued.

"Today, 40% of our new sales come in under the program," he added, and this figure it set to climb to 60% by July this year.

Alongside modifying its external management processes, the consumer goods titan has taken the necessary step of transforming its internal lines of authority to reflect its changing needs.

"One decision maker needed to be the single point of contact. And changing our culture and work processes often was difficult," said DelCore.

The Swiffer, which is regarded as being among the corporation's most pioneering recent innovations, is one product that has benefitted from having moved to this operating structure.

Leo Burnett has taken on overall responsibility for the cleaning range, and appointed a global creative director and global planner to foster a "one-agency mentality" across all the networks linked with the brand.

Ultimately, this led to the identification of an untapped demographic for the Swiffer, in the form of pet owners, resulting in a highly successful campaign featuring Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer".

Publicis New York employed a similar tactic by creating a "bill of rights" for the seven agencies handling Oral-B toothbrushes, which are available in 180 markets worldwide.

As a consequence, this team came upon a distinctive way to promote the brand's "Pulsonic" sonic brush, which is positioned as being streamlined, quiet and light.

This took the form of appealing to a highly different audience from the norm – fashion and style editors – during an event held at New York fashion week.

For further coverage of the 4A's Transformation Conference, from Geoffrey Precourt, Warc's US Editor, click here.

Data sourced from Warc