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Tom DenfordMay 15, 20173 min read

P&G’s Media Man And His Action Plan


P&G has hired Gerry D’Angelo to oversee a media revolution at the world’s largest advertiser. Tom Denford spoke to him to understand their internal process and the implications for other marketers.

No company is watched more closely than P&G. This year the focus is twice as intense because the world’s largest advertiser has shaken up the global advertising industry with its demands that the “crappy media supply chain” becomes more transparent and that walled gardens such as Google and Facebook open up to common metrics.

The man charged by Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard with making this a reality is Gerry D’Angelo, the recently appointed Global Head of Media for Procter & Gamble.

I recently sat down with Gerry in front of 800 media experts from around the world at the Festival of Media in Rome. The goal was to understand P&G’s new approach to media and digital, and how the company was making the five-step progamme a reality: Adopting a common, minimum viewability standard; implementing accredited third party measurement verification; getting transparent agency contracts; tackling ad-fraud and “voting with our dollars” to make sure it happens.



His first point was that the new approach was part of an on-going narrative within P&G to improve the quality of advertising and that reducing time and money wasted on poor media was an important route to achieve that ambition.

And he added that all five parts of the Media Action Plan are being worked on, although in a business spending $7bn on marketing annually it was a complex process involving many parts of the P&G business. 

“One indicator of how seriously we are taking this as an organisation is the number of functions [in P&G] that is it touching. It is not just something for media or marketing to address, we have a team of people behind it including purchasing, legal, insights and wide cross-function teams,” he said. 

And he said that having laid out the plan, Pritchard wasn’t simply moving on to other items. Marc was very prepared to “roll up his sleeves and get into the detail to understand the measures of success” and would continue to be an active presence in making sure P&G fully executed their ambition, he said. 

The conversation then expanded to the wider industry. Gerry was attending with a 30-strong delegation of P&G’s media leaders as part of a plan to ensure that the company doesn’t become too insular and to give them a chance to learn and network.

READ MORE: How to be as smart as P&G

Previously Media Director at Mondelez Europe, Gerry noted that even just a year ago the industry was struggling with huge problems that seemed too big for individual marketers to solve.

Getting the world’s largest advertiser standing up on stage and saying ‘this is our expectation, this is what we want, we are doing it for the benefit of us as an organisation but we think it’s also going to have a more universal benefit on the industry as a whole’, was a pretty good catalyst for change he said. 

FLM_8338.jpg(Photo credit: Festival of Media Global)

But P&G are cautious not to be seen to be preaching to the industry. “We are not challenging others to take our lead, but it’s not a spectator sport. Get off the bench and join in”

Put simply, marketers should not sit around and wait for P&G to sort out all the problems. Anyone managing a budget in media has a responsibility to look after it well and ask the questions they need. 

Gerry’s message is clear and fully aligned to the ambitions the company’s most senior marketer has laid out.

The bottom line: the action plan is happening and the change will be significant. In future years, the industry as a whole will probably regard 2017 as a year when it collectively started moving in a more positive direction. Together.

This article was originally published on Campaign on 12 May 2017 


Tom Denford

Tom Denford is one of the world’s most trusted advisors to senior marketing and procurement leaders on navigating media and digital transformation. With 20 years’ experience in the marketing industry, which covers senior global roles in creative and media agencies, Tom co-founded ID Comms in 2009, with ambition for the company to be the world experts in maximising media value and performance.