P&G Seeks To Improve Advertising Process

Procter & Gamble has launched an initiative called “The Agency Renewal Project” to examine its advertising processes and agency relationships from top to bottom.
The goal is to enable P&G and its agencies to become quicker and more efficient in developing ads while increasing the quality of the creative product.
Wendy Jacques, a representative for P&G in Cincinnati, confirmed the program, which has been under way since November, sources said. Jacques said that developments such as the Internet and media fragmentation prompted the move. “You have to be quick on your feet to compete,” said Jacques. “This is about looking at how we work with our agency partners and making sure we are positioned for success.”
The initiative is also designed to improve creative work from its shops by accelerating the often cumbersome copy development and approval process. TV spots go through multiple testing and approval stages before airing. P&G hopes to cut some of those steps internally and at the agencies. “[We must] strip away the complexity from our systems,” said Jacques. “We need to be quicker, but we won’t sacrifice quality or effectiveness.”
Under the initiative, P&G is seeking input from the top executives at its roster shops. “The Agency Renewal” effort is being led by P&G’s two key ad executives: Bob Wehling, senior vice president of advertising, marketing research and government relations, and Denis Beausejour, vice president of advertising.
The stakes for P&G’s roster shops (Grey Advertising, Saatchi & Saatchi, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Wells BDDP, N.W. Ayer & Partners and Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor, all New York, and Leo Burnett and Euro RSCG Tatham in Chicago) are high. After consolidating all TV and print media buying duties for its $1.5 billion U.S. ad budget last year, P&G is now able to shift more easily creative-only accounts from shops that do not make the grade.
Eventually, the initiative will tackle a number of key agency/client issues such as compensation, conflict policies and its agency alignments, said sources.
–with Kevin McCormack