ORLANDO, FL: Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, is taking concrete steps to overcome fundamental issues with the "antiquated" - and occasionally downright "crappy" - system for buying and selling digital media.

Speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2017 Media Conference, Marc Pritchard – P&G's Chief Brand Officer – cited viewability, third-party verification, transparency and ad fraud as urgent priorities.

"We have an antiquated media buying and selling system that was clearly not built for the digital technology revolution," he said. (For more details, including tips for brands seeking to boost media transparency, read Warc's free-to-access report: P&G's Pritchard takes on fakes, fraudsters and fearmongers.)

"We serve ads to consumers through a non-transparent media supply chain, with poor standards adoption, too many players grading their own homework, too many hidden touches and too many holes to allow criminals to rip us off.

"We have a media supply chain that is murky at best, and fraudulent at worst. We need to urgently clean it up, and invest the time and money we save into better advertising to drive growth."

Pritchard called on individual marketers to take ownership of this agenda within their organisations, as well as for cross-industry efforts. He also had some firm words for any naysayers and refuseniks.

"We don't want to waste time and money on a crappy media supply chain. We want to invest in raising the bar on the creative craft to drive growth on our brands," P&G's brand chief asserted.

"The time for talking is over. It's time for action...now. It's time for us to step up and deliver media transparency to drive a clean and productive media supply chain.

"It's time we come together, put down our finger-pointers, and solve these problems – all of us: marketers, agencies, publishers, ad tech platforms and suppliers.

"If we all do our part, we all benefit. And best of all, consumers benefit. In fact, driving media transparency should not be optional. It's a responsibility."

Successfully transforming the supply chain, for Pritchard, will also free up brand custodians from spending a disproportionate amount of their time on procedural issues, and let them focus on driving breakthrough creative instead.

"There is no sustainable advantage for anyone in a complicated, non-transparent, inefficient and fraudulent media supply chain. Getting to a clean and productive media supply chain is the 'level playing field' we all want and need," he said.

"The basis for competitive advantage is our brands, our advertising craft, and the quality of our product and package experiences for consumers. It's not rocket science, it's really just common sense."

Data sourced from Warc