MIAMI BEACH, FL: Procter & Gamble, the packaged-goods manufacturer, is pushing shops from different holding groups to work together, an initiative forming part of a wider effort to transform its agency relationships.

Marc Pritchard, P&G's chief brand officer, discussed this subject at the 2018 Accelerate conference held by the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies).

And he explained that its “people-first model”, whereby agencies from various holding companies will contribute to a cohesive whole, was a key component of P&G's drive towards heightened creativity.

P&G’s North American fabric-care business will thus, for example, be able to call on talent from shops including Saatchi & Saatchi (a unit of Publicis Groupe), Grey (WPP Group) and Hearts & Sciences (Omnicom Group).

“To a large extent, our industry is a lot like the movie industry was and the music industry was. It got disrupted and now it’s up to us to be able to take that to the next level,” Pritchard said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: P&G’s new model for client–agency relationships.)

“What it has caused us to do together is work on some new models.”

P&G's “people-first” model was deployed for Tide’s campaign during the 2018 Super Bowl, as it mixed 60-second and 15-second television ads with digital activations and public-relations outreach.

In facilitating this type of arrangement, Pritchard asserted, it is vital to understand where ultimate responsibility rests. In the case of the fabric-care agencies, this role is occupied by Andrea Diquez, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi New York.

“We can’t have eight people in charge. There has got to be one person in charge … That’s the kind of discipline that we’re pushing for,” added Pritchard.

Such change is essential, he continued, as startups are taking on legacy brands, agencies are facing new competitors like consultancies, and digital platforms are witnessing a greater level of scrutiny from the public and legislators alike.

Those developments, in turn, have placed traditional working patterns and procedures under stress. “It creates tension in agency–client partnerships,” Pritchard allowed.

In response, P&G and its core agencies set out on a clear mission. “We gave ourselves a brief: Reinvent agency and client partnerships – and do it together. Because that’s the only way forward,” said Pritchard.

“The question that we ask ourselves is: ‘Are we going to get disrupted or are we going to take charge? Are we going to take control?’ Our answer was very clear: ‘We are going to lead it.’”

Sourced from WARC