Procter & Gamble, the consumer-packaged goods manufacturer, is following a holistic roadmap for racial equality as it seeks to enhance diversity within its own four walls and across the media ecosystem.

Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer, discussed this subject during a session at Lions Live, an online conference held by Cannes Lions, a sister company of WARC. (A free-to-access video of his session is available here. WARC subscribers can read a summary of the main takeaways here.)

Black Lives Matter

This article is part of an ongoing WARC series focused on educating brand marketers on diversity and activism, in light of the recent progressive steps made with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Read more

And he outlined various details from Procter & Gamble’s “racial-equality roadmap”, which is intended to make a tangible difference inside and outside one of the world’s biggest advertisers.

One way to accelerate systemic change, Pritchard said, involves demanding that the creative supply chain – i.e., brands, agencies and production crews – “fully reflects the world in which we live” by truly representing people of colour.

“We’re starting with ourselves in the US, declaring an aspiration to achieve 40% multicultural representation within P&G,” he explained.

Although P&G has made “solid progress” internally here, agency teams and production crews are lagging behind at present.

“The goals are clear, and will require further interventions in hiring, training, pipeline development, tracking and accountability,” Pritchard said.

Another priority for P&G is to “significantly increase investment in Black-owned-or-operated media companies, agencies and marketing suppliers,” he added.

Conducting a detailed assessment of its advertising output is another element of Procter & Gamble’s playbook in this area.

“We’re conducting a comprehensive review to ensure all of our advertising and content accurately and respectfully portrays Black people – and all people,” said Pritchard.

A key resource in pursuit of that objective is the Cultural Insights Impact Measure (CIIM) developed by the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM).

This score evaluates ad creative – and also connects it to lifts in brand relevance, advertising relevance, purchase intent and loyalty.

Similarly, P&G has reviewed its media channels, networks, platforms and programs to make sure its ads appear in content that “accurately and respectfully portrays Black people – and all people, for that matter,” said Pritchard. “And that we are not advertising on or near content that we determine is hateful, denigrating or discriminatory.”

Freedom of speech is an invaluable right, Pritchard asserted, but “civility is a responsibility” for P&G, and a standard it applies to its partners.

“P&G is not new to this. In fact, today, there are hundreds of programs and thousands of digital channels and sites where we do not advertise because they don’t meet our standards,” said Pritchard.

“Our goal is to improve the quality of content where we advertise for the long term. As always, we will work collaboratively and directly to achieve this goal.”

Sourced from WARC