Procter & Gamble Co. is restructuring its internal media operation as part of its ongoing plan to increase the value of its U.S. media buys by more than $50 million without boosting ad spending.
An internal memo to agencies and employees from P&G VP-Media and Programming Daryl Simm said P&G's media department will be structured to maximize the impact of its consolidations this year of TV and print buying, accounts awarded to MacManus Group's TeleVest, New York, and Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, respectively. The restructuring initiative is called Media 98.
P&G spends some $1.5 billion annually in measured media.
Under the new organization, the media unit will be divided into three core groups, each reporting to Mr. Simm.
The Media Knowledge Group will be led by Associate Director Judy Beaudry, who previously handled print media--and who executives at P&G agencies and media companies say helped come up with the idea to extend the print consolidation to TV. Associate Director Dave Cowan, who has overseen TV, will add responsibility for print as the head of the new Media Implementation Group.
The third unit, the Media Innovation Group, will be headed by new-media specialist and Associate Director Buddy Tucker.
The three will work under Associate Director and Team Leader Susan Holliday, who will assume the leadership role in the transition to Media 98, as part of a special assignment.
CRITICAL 6 MONTHS
One executive close to P&G said Mr. Simm has stressed that "the next six to nine months are critical to delivering results. P&G is committed to improve media value by more than $50 million, with the end result an increased overall media value without spending more."
A P&G spokeswoman confirmed the restructuring but would not discuss the contents of the memo.
"The changes in the U.S. media organization have been made to order the structure so that work that needs to be undertaken is [done] as we transition the consolidation of total planning and buying of our AORs," the spokeswoman said.
The executive close to P&G believes the reorganization could lead to a redeployment of spending by P&G. For instance, in TV there could be a further shift toward cable while in print P&G may reconsider buying premium positions in magazines, opting instead for less expensive positions that still deliver.
It has long been believed by some agency executives that the media consolidations could eventually lead to a change in compensation policy. Agency executives have indicated commissions range from 13% to 15% with a higher rate going to agencies that have media agency of record assignments.
The P&G spokeswoman said: "As a matter of policy we do not comment on compensation."
The Media Knowledge Group will be key to the success of the transition, as its function is the creation and dissemination of media information "to maximize the consumer effectiveness of media within our brands' marketing mix," said Mr. Simm's memo.
This group will focus intensely on two areas: developing the Media 98 process and deploying that process to P&G people and agencies, according to the memo, noting that under the Media Knowledge Group's aegis will be media strategy, planning effectiveness, analysis, brand counseling and P&G/agency training.
The Implementation Group will include tactical planning and buying of print and TV, plus TV programming alliances. Innovation will house interactive media and programming, alternative media and media research.
Implementation is accountable for maximal delivery of each brand's TV and print strategy, while managing tactical planning and buying for TV and print. The memo stated that Media Innovation "must lead the company to greater use of non-conventional media, which includes established media like radio and outdoor plus interactive."
In addition, there will be media planning counseling provided by senior experts, and a brand counseling hot line has been established "to help our brands through the transition," the memo said.
Jim Connell, who reports to Ms. Beaudry, will serve as the brand media counseling expert.
Separately, Bensimon Byrne DMB&B, Toronto, won P&G's $65 million to $70 million English-language ad buying consolidation in Canada. Leo Burnett Co. and Grey Canada, both Toronto, participated in the review.
Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.