15 Aug'17

Procter & Gamble are one of the first advertiser to reduce digital ad spending

Following the brand safety scandal, Procter & Gamble (P&G) have recently become one of the first advertisers to significant reduce their digital advertisement. To read the full article on Marketing Week, click here.


In March of this year, we witnessed corporate advertisers such as, Heinz, The Guardian, and Lloyd’s Bank suspend their advertisements on YouTube (owned by Google) after The Times reported advertisements had been running ads alongside explicit content, some of which was terrorist propaganda videos. Subsequently, consumers associate the brand with negative images, potentially having a detrimental impact on sales, and company reputation. We can only estimate that these are some of the reasons P&G reduced their digital advertisement spending.


Earlier this year, you may recall other big brands withdrew their advertisement with Facebook. The Guardian reported that Havas, the media agency, ‘pulled its entire £175m UK digital ad spend’ back in June. This followed accusations that Facebook were promoting fake news advertising.


Interestingly, The Guardian quoted Adam Smith, director at GroupM, stating ‘No traditional media owner has made as much of this as they should have done’. As a traditional media owner, are The Guardian simply confessing to the fact that they did not take advantage of the negative press surrounding digital advertisement? Or are they positioning themselves as righteous for not drawing attention to digital advertisement’s weaknesses? These are questions to consider when reading the article, especially after PwC forecasts, ‘The Internet advertising industry will be worth £14.4bn in 2021 accounting for 53% of all advertising spend, growing at 8.2% CAGR over the next 5 years and showing no signs of slowing down.’


Although digital advertising continues to dominate, we need a solution to overcome digital marketing issues such as, brand safety. The Report believes that algorithms for contextual marketing needs to become more advanced, in order to align audience-specific advertisement and appropriate context.



Feature image credit: “digital-marketing-banner” by Automotive Social. Licensed by CC BY 2.0. Subheading removed from original