His first significant move was to consolidate print buying at Leo Burnett USA, Chicago.
Seeking to streamline and simplify the process, Mr. Simm, 36, says, "With nine agencies or so planning for dozens of brands, meeting with dozens of print representatives to create a plan, picking insertions month by month for each brand, that was a process with a lot of room for improvement.
"By having it all consolidated in one place with a group of experts that are compensated specifically for that work, I think we're far ahead [of others] in terms of a more efficient process and system."
The 11-year P&G veteran says that conceptually these reasons apply to P&G's other current media consolidation as well. In one of the most watched reviews of the year, the company is in the process of consolidating more than $1 billion in TV buying and planning. Next month, P&G is expected to hear presentations from TeleVest (in an alliance with Wells BDDP), Grey Advertising and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, all New York, and Burnett.
Yet a third important benefit of the print consolidation, and one that also applies to the TV move as well, is what Mr. Simm refers to as "Real time planning and buying-putting ourselves in a position where we can be more agile, and more sensitive to the buying conditions that are available. So instead of working in separate silos, we're working one process. That provides improved results."
P&G has made waves during the consolidation by asking the participating agencies to come up with media optimization schemes. Widely used in Europe-Mr. Simm was P&G's European media director for two years-optimizers are ways of using audience research to help drive sales.
"In the U.S., there's some promise being pointed in the right direction in the availability of audience research data," comments Mr. Simm. "Buyers and sellers alike can benefit from a lot more than we have today. So we have the compass