P&G marketing chief Marc Pritchard has been beating the drum of brand safety this year. And the CPG giant is backing up that talk by running ads on far fewer sites, according to multiple ad tracking firms. At the end of 2016, back before Pritchard called out the “crappy media supply chain” at an Interactive Advertising Bureau conference, P&G ran ads on about 2,000 sites per month in the U.S., according to Pathmatics. By August, it whittled that number down to 900 websites.
Traffic-measurement firm Hitwise also noticed that fewer publishers are sending traffic to P&G websites, which is an indication that the CPG company is running ads in fewer places. In August, about 3,500 different websites immediately preceded a visit to a website for one of P&G’s billion-dollar brands, which was a 15 percent decline year over year in the number of properties that send traffic to P&G’s most popular brands.
Since these vendors measure different things and use various proxies to fill in gaps where information is missing, their raw numbers vary considerably. But what is more relevant than the absolute value of the data is the direction of the trend, which shows that P&G is being choosier about where its ads run. P&G, as well as the ad agencies that it works with, declined to comment.