P&G shakes up agency models as it puts the focus back on creativity

Procter & Gamble is introducing three new agency models, including a a multi-agency group that will include the best talent from rival agencies as it looks to get the focus back on creativity.


Procter & Gamble (P&G) is shaking up its advertising by creating three new agency models that seek to reinvent agency relationships and maximise efficiency.

One of the most significant changes is the creation of a multi-agency group that combines talent from rival agencies and is dubbed the ‘People First’ model. The currently unnamed agency group will bring together creatives from Publicis, WPP and Omnicom and is being headed up by Andrea Diquez, chief executive of Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in New York.

The shop will cover all of P&G’s US fabric business Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer, revealed on a panel at the 4A’s conference in Miami yesterday (10 April).

The FMCG giant piloted the ‘People First’ model when creating this year’s Super Bowl ads for its Tide brand. The ads, which featured Stranger Things actor David Harbour, ran at different slots throughout the game to create a mocking commentary of Super Bowl adverts.

The move is part of a wider strategy at P&G to “reinvent” agency relationships as it looks to get the focus back on creativity. It has already cut the number of agencies it works with by 60%, from 6,000 to 2,500, a move it says has saved it $750m in agency and production costs. And it plans to cut agencies by another 50%.

The second model is dubbed “Fixed and Flow” and means P&G is looking for more flexible relationships with one agencies. This means agencies of record will be kept on annual fixed retainers, leaving a flexible, or ‘flow’ budget for other work that can be spent with other agencies on P&G’s roster.

This is part of P&G’s plans to fix the “archaic Mad Men model”, which Pritchard spoke about at the Association of National Advertisers’ annual conference earlier this year.

READ MORE: P&G’s Marc Pritchard calls for an end to the ‘archaic Mad Men model’

The final model focuses on media, with P&G bringing more media planning in particular in-house, particularly on digital media to focus more on creative talent. Speaking to Marketing Week recently, Pritchard said this doesn’t mean P&G will be hiring more people, but that it will change the make-up of its marketing teams with the focus more on data and analytics, on hiring data scientists and moving away from project management.

“In the IT world there will be less project management, same thing at the brand level. Less project management and more true brand entrepreneurship,” he explains.