Procter & Gamble is Britain’s biggest advertiser, having spent
almost pounds 800 million on advertising over the past five years -
pounds 188 million in the year to April 2000.
On the face of it, P&G very much fits the profile of a global fmcg
business, spending large amounts of money (mostly on television) to
support a variety of well-known household brands.
However, recent events have revealed a business in transformation. A
third profit warning in six months resulted in the departure of P&G’s
chairman and chief executive Durk Jager, a halving of its share price
and the launch of a programme called Organisation 2005. This strategy
has been designed to refocus the business and, in particular, the way it
brands and markets its products.
Agencies P&G uses Saatchi & Saatchi, Grey Advertising, Leo Burnett and
D’Arcy for creative work, Starcom Motive Partnership, MediaCom and
MediaVest for media buying, and all creative agencies bar Leo Burnett
for major planning work.
Total spend and the media mix P&G spent pounds 188 million on
advertising in the year to April 2000, mostly on television (67 per
cent) followed by direct mail (14 per cent), press (10 per cent),
outdoor (5 per cent) and radio. Spend was spread fairly evenly over the
year, except for a concentration of television spend in the summer
Spend details P&G spread its cash across more than 150 brands over the
past year. The biggest brands advertised included Bounty kitchen towel
(pounds 8.6 million), Secret cream deodorant (pounds 8.5 million), the
ubiquitous Sunny Delight (pounds 8 million), Charmin (pounds 7 million),
Always sanitary towels (pounds 5.8 million), Pampers (pounds 5.6
million), Temp (pounds 5 million) and Fairy (pounds 4.6 million).
Below these ’super brands’, adspend tended to be focused on a number of
mini-brands, each with its own advertising budget. Although spend on the
larger brands was spread across most media, many smaller-spending brands
(pounds 300,000 or less) tended to favour just one medium. P&G’s
favourite television station is Carlton (attracting 12 per cent of total
TV spend), although the advertiser used more than 70 satellite stations
Conclusion P&G’s recent announcement that it is to spend less on
television and more on direct and internet marketing signals significant
change for this major advertiser.
The company is already testing an online initiative that allows
consumers to send specially tailored gift packages of P&G products to
The new chief executive has gone on record as saying he wants the
business to be less predictable, less analytical, and to follow a
riskier, more innovative business strategy.
If P&G really has given up on its mass-market, big-bang marketing model,
we can expect some interesting ad campaigns to appear over the coming
Research by AC Nielsen MMS tel: 01344-627553 www.mediamonitoring.com.