P&G to ditch brand ambassadors in cost-cutting drive

Procter & Gamble is hoping to ‘simplify’ its advertising by cutting down on the number of brand ambassadors the latest part of a cost-cutting drive to improve marketing efficiency.

messi head and shoulders 460

Speaking at the Barclays Back to School conference in the US yesterday (4 September), P&G chief financial officer Jon Moeller uses Head & Shoulders as an example, saying it will reduce the number of spokespeople for the brand by nearly 50 per cent. Rather than using different brand ambassadors in every country, it will focus on two global spokespeople in Sofia Vergara and Lionel Messi across 45 markets, raising questions over Joe Hart’s long-term association with the brand. A spokesman for P&G in the UK says it will continue to work with Hart “across the next year”.  

“We’re simplifying the number of brand spokespeople that we use on a global basis. When we select the right spokesperson, the individuals who unquestionably represent the brand’s equity, they can be effective across many markets,” he adds.

P&G is also looking for other ways to cut down on marketing costs, including producing shorter TV ads with “higher impact”. Moeller says Head & Shoulders in the US recently produced two ads, one 15-second spot and one 30-second spot, using Vergara.

Consumer research conducted by P&G found that the 15-second spot was more effective with higher overall recall than the longer ad and the category average. It also cost less to air.

Moeller says this demonstrates how P&G can cut marketing spend while ensuring its campaigns remain effective. Despite reducing spend on Head & Shoulders by 50 per cent, the brand saw “mid single digit growth” last year, he claims.

“Our efforts to increase effectiveness and efficiency of our marketing investments of Head & Shoulders have significantly reduced costs while driving growth. Head & Shoulders is the number one shampoo brand in the world, roughly a $3 billion brand and grew mid single digits last year,” says Moeller.

P&G remains focused on shifting more of its media mix to digital mobile and social media, citing the success of its Always #likeagirl campaign, which it says achieved in excess of 4.4 billion impressions in more than 20 markets. That includes 75 million YouTube views, with Moeller claiming this reflects a “high return high-impact marketing execution at a lower cost”.

The move comes after P&G announced plans to axe up to 100 of its brands. Moeller says this will create a “faster growing, more profitable company”.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here