NEW YORK: Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at Procter & Gamble, says there has been “very strong” progress on cleaning up the digital ecosystem this year, but more work needs to be done on brand safety in 2018.

“We’ve focused on getting viewability data, third-party verification, transparent agency contracts, eliminating fraud and brand safety, which came later. A huge amount has been done this year,” he said in an interview with Digiday magazine.

He added that almost every company has “stepped up” to provide the kind of measurement and third-party verification that Procter & Gamble has been calling for.

And even though the biggest gap remains in getting Media Rating Council accreditation, Pritchard said he felt “reasonably good”, while cautioning that there is still more work to be done on improving brand safety.

When asked about his views on the industry’s priorities for 2018, he said: “Complete the task on transparency. Then, use the data we have to do much better planning across our platforms. And raise the bar on the quality of the creative so it’s more effective.”

He also predicted that data-driven, mass one-to-one marketing is likely to be a major theme next year – echoing what he said in an interview for WARC’s Toolkit 2018.

For example, diaper brand Pampers is already tapping into Google searches for “pregnancy” made by expectant mothers and trying to connect with relevant information.

“So, we create a relationship and it becomes a much more one-to-one utility,” Pritchard told WARC. “It’s not as reliant on mass marketing, it’s not reliant on mass advertising. It’s much more reliant on connecting with her – and then him, because dad becomes part of that process. I think that’s the future.”

Elsewhere, as in his interview with WARC, he repeated his forecast that the agency model will change in 2018, telling Digiday: “With agencies, we need to simplify more dramatically. There is a place for even fewer agencies.”

Finally, when asked to give an overall message for the digital media industry, he said: “Digital turned 21 in 2017. It’s an adult now. The responsibilities are increasing. We pushed transparency; that’s step one. That leads to: You need more controls on your systems. It’s very clear that expectations are rising for digital companies.”

Sourced from Digiday magazine; additional content by WARC staff