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"Craft over crap"


The world's biggest marketer, P&G's Marc Pritchard, sets the marketing agenda for the new age, and sets out his frustrations with digital advertising, which will no doubt set the agenda for years to come

Speaking to the IAB in the US, Prichard said the increasing complexity, fraud, unreliable numbers and so on that are part and parcel of digital advertising had to stop.

To give him confidence, he wants:

  • A standard measure for viewability
  • Guarantees against fraud
  • Independent verification of the metrics offered by the likes of Google and Facebook.

He also says he wants 'craft over crap', and a return to creative approaches to marketing and advertising.

The speech is below. Some of you will be terrified, some will be cheering. It might be the most important marketing speech made in decades:

Marketing Week's Mark Ritson warmly welcomed the results, and his take is worth reading more than once. He carefully carefully explores the speech and its implications for marketers.

The AdContrarian Bob Hoffman is similarly impressed, particularly over Pritchard's stance on unverifiable stats from the likes of Facebook and Google. This is something Hoffman has been saying for years and is a vindication of his stance.

Dominic Mills is another impressed columnist, saying it's about time the client took control back.

Just a week after that speech, WPP's Group M says that:

“Instances of ad fraud have not gone away, but we believe that it is significantly contained. Some will be shocked at that assertion; headlines often emanating from the east of Europe rightly create discomfort for advertisers and publishers and it’s likely that 2% of the impressions purchased by the biggest advertisers in Western markets remain non-human.”

They don't explain where this 2% figure comes from, if it's real or if it has been dreamed up, and if it's real how it was calculated. Much of the ad fraud out there is in the form of 'unknown unknowns' that few have a handle on. Group M are similarly keen to give viewability a clean bill of health.

The contrast with Pritchard's speech could not be starker.

In parallel this week is the news that measurement company comScore has overstated its profits and will be delisted from Nasdaq as a result. WPP is one of its main investors and has lost a huge chunk of that investment as a result.

WPP's rival Publicis has reported a surprise loss of more than half a billion Euros for the year, citing 'problems' with Razorfish, which it rolled into the Sapient brand at the end of 2016.


Every year brands pile into the Superbowl because they know that up to 120 million Americans will be glued to the screen, and it can reveal trends, and there were several on show. With spots costing up to $5 million for a 30-second spot this really is a big deal in America:

Netflix hit Stranger Things won the most social chatter from this ad for the new series, not due to hit the TV until November.

Donald Trump was the target, either explicitly or implicitly, for several ads:

Following Trump's Muslim ban and his insistence on building a wall to keep Mexicans out, Budweiser produced an ad riffing on immigration and how immigrants produced the most American of lagers.

This ad for It's a 10 haircare couldn't be more explicit. "We’re in for at least four years of awful hair," they declare.

Who they might be trumpeting with this statement I have no idea. 84 Lumber's ad caused a lot of chatter for its ad about a Mexican family crossing the border, and this article explores what the brand was trying to achieve (find more staff, essentially).

T-Mobile produced three separate ads, this one is the most successful because it features Snoop, basically.

There was plenty more 'comedy' ads, notably for Kia from Melissa Mccarthy which was less successful.

Almost finally (see the last ad featured at the bottom of the post), is this extremely weird Mr Clean ad, apparently filmed in the heart of Uncanny Valley.

Quantum computing

The FT reports on a blueprint for a quantum computing machine. This is something that could increase computing power by a huge factor by using the weird behaviour of subatomic particles to allow for processing to take place in different states and even different places in parallel and simultaneously rather than sequentially.

This article, written by a quantum scientist, explores how the laws of physics have to be pushed to their limits in order to make a quantum machine, and artificial intelligence systems might be the way to solve such problems.

Dealing with the new digital giants can be daunting. Many of these companies have a turnover in excess of whole countries. Which could be why Denmark has appointed an ambassador to big tech.

Some go further. Maybe big tech has more competence than politicians do. Some suggest that Google should be given the keys to the White House.

Almost finally, two stories to mull over.

The first is Harry Belafonte at 90 in a wonderful profile in the New York Times. Entertainer, film star, civil rights activist and more, who is constantly looking forward.

From the subline to the ridiculous.

This is the incredible tale of Fling, an app that never generated any revenue and burned through millions in investor cash while splurging on frivolity. With great detail and deadpan style, it's a gripping story more Wolf Wall Street than Social Network

From Denmark, have a look at this ad for TV2 which is approximately equivalent to Channel 4 here:

Finally, this ad for Cards Against Humanity ad also aired during the superbowl (or alleged to have been - I don't watch American Football).

The ad itself is completely perplexing, featuring a slightly dirty potato with the word 'ADVERTISMENT' written on it in black felt tip. For a full 30 seconds. There's a noise in the background. What's going on?

Then read this very tongue-in-cheek explanation, perfectly mimicking terrible marketing-speak:

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