Between the Lines: P&G takes digital plunge

The most surprising thing about Procter & Gamble's decision to appoint a European roster of digital agencies (page 1) is that it hasn't already got one.

P&G has long been talking about moving its vast ad budget away from mass-market TV and into more targeted communications including the internet, but evidence has been thin on the ground. Until now, it has used an ad hoc cluster of agencies to work on the occasional project, often with limited budgets.

That P&G's plans have emerged just two weeks after Campaign revealed that Unilever is also building a digital roster shows that time is of the essence.

It will also pose a bit of a problem for the two companies and their prospective agencies. Will shops be able to pitch for both pieces of business?

Are there enough good agencies or networks to staff two healthy rosters?

Nevertheless, it would be hard to overstate the significance of both advertisers finally showing signs of taking the medium seriously. Where P&G and Unilever lead, other marketers will follow.