- Procter & Gamble has announced plans for an advertising "stakeholders" summit to accelerate the transition to the digital advertising future.
P&G, the world's largest advertiser, recently stepped up its investment in interactive media, spending three million dollars this quarter, a dramatic increase over the previous quarter.
This represents one of the largest interactive advertising investments to date by a consumer products company.
The call for the summit came at last week's @d:tech conference in Chicago. It was made in a keynote address entitled "Branding and Bonding Beyond the Banner," by Denis Beausejour, P&G vice president.
To accelerate the development of digital media to the next mass medium, Beausejour announced P&G will host an interactive advertising forum of large advertisers and key content and technology players "to figure out what it will take to transform the web into the space it can be."
Companies already signed on to participate include Coca-Cola, AT&T, Levi-Strauss and McDonalds. The summit, entitled FAST-Forum (Future of Advertising Stakeholders Forum), will take place in Cincinnati in late summer 1998.
According to Beausejour: "The web has the potential to be a dramatically more effective way for us to communicate with the people who buy and use our products. It has a unique appeal to us. No other consumer goods company touches the average family in as many ways, with as many trusted brands, as we do,"
He added: ""Any medium that can help us deepen our bonds with those families is, by definition, of tremendous interest to us."
However, Beausejour warned the industry that the biggest barrier to fully realising the promise of the web is the fact that the industry has "built a box" around thinking about interactive advertising.
"We've settled on ad models like banners and buttons before the interactive show even begins. We've limited our trajectory at a time when ad space can evolve in unlimited ways. We haven't even begun to explore the possibilities out there," he said.