Biggest Ad Spender P&G Has New North America Media Chief

Kristine Decker Takes On Top Media Role Overseeing $3 Billion-Plus Budget

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The biggest U.S. advertiser has a new media chief as Procter & Gamble Co. has named Kristine Decker to oversee its estimated $3 billion-plus U.S. media outlay.

Kristine Decker
Kristine Decker

Ms. Decker, brand director-North America Brand Operations, had previously been brand director-North America Pet Care. P&G divested that business to Mars in August. She's been transitioning into the media role under Jodi Allen, former VP-North America Brand Operations. Ms. Allen has been overseeing North American media directly following departure of P&G's former top media executive Julie Eddleman to Google last year.

Ms. Allen became VP-North American Hair Care late last year and was handling both jobs for a time. That transition is now complete, a P&G spokeswoman said. Staffing and duties of the North American Brand Operations group have been reduced considerably following a reorganization last year that shifted much of the group's duties to the brand groups in P&G's global business units.

Post-reorganization, media buying and planning are the key marketing function that remains in North American Selling and Market Operations, which succeeded the old Market Development Organization.

Jodi Allen
Jodi Allen

Ms. Decker hadn't been a media specialist prior to her current role, but had a noteworthy media effort to her credit. She was the marketing executive on P&G's Walmart team who oversaw the company's "Family Movie Night" collaboration, in which P&G and the retailer jointly fronted production and created commercials for the TV movies that ran on NBC. That effort won a Bronze Effie in 2012. Previously, Ms. Decker had also been a brand manager on Swiffer.

P&G long has ranked as the biggest U.S. advertising spender, with nearly $5 billion in overall spending in 2013, according to the Ad Age Datacenter. P&G had $2 billion in measured media spending through the first nine months of 2014, down 16% from the same period a year ago, according to Kantar Media.

While P&G has acknowledged cutting media spending some last year, much of that decline likely owes to a shift into harder-to-measure digital media. Overall, P&G's global reported ad spending declined 4% to $9.2 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30.

Julie Eddleman
Julie Eddleman

Publicis Groupe's Starcom Mediavest Group handles media-buying duties for P&G in the U.S. and communications planning for most brands in North America. Carat, a unit of Dentsu Aegis Network, handles media buying in Canada and communications planning for some brands in North America.

Melanie Healey, once a CEO contender who had led P&G's North America operations overall, announced her retirement late last year. She's been succeeded by Carolyn Tastad, a longtime sales executive and the company's former global customer development officer, as group-president North America Selling and Market Operations. Ms. Decker will report directly to her.