"In the short term, it's unlikely that interactive media will make or break the marketing plans for very many traditional package goods brands," Mr. Beausejour said. "However, if you extend the timeline just a few years, we see the potential for a digital media disruption that will rapidly reshape not only our advertising and marketing efforts, but perhaps our entire business model."
To date, P&G's digital efforts mostly have been learning experiences, he said, though they're still expected to have a positive business impact.
Such technical details as narrow bandwidth, file size limitations and lack of reliable audience measurements still plague interactive media, he says.
"But the biggest obstacle remains that as marketers, we really don't know how to use the Web effectively," Mr. Beausejour said.
To overcome such obstacles, Mr. Beausejour is trying an unconventional approach -- calling a summer summit of major advertisers, technology companies and content providers aimed at making the Web a more effective advertising medium.
"Through this summit we hope to begin to shape a medium that the consumer controls," he said. "The goal of the summit will be to figure out what it will take to transform the Web into the space that it can be."
Betcha didn't know: He speaks Mandarin Chinese well enough to have helped craft rhythmic selling lines in the singsong language.