Trust is good, but control is better. So said Vladimir Lenin and, last week, so too did Proctor & Gamble, the largest advertiser in the world, at the American Association of National Advertisers (ANA) media conference in Orlando, Florida.

That’s where the parallels end between Lenin and P&G. However, the consumer goods giant’s chief brand officer, Marc Pritchard, who this time last year rocked the media and tech world with his missive that the $US200 billion ($255 billion) digital media supply chain was “murky at best, fraudulent at worst”, was back in scintillating form, beseeching marketers the world over to deliver a business growth agenda with just three little words: “take back control”.

It was a shot across the bow for tech and media companies, and international advertising agency networks. Last year, Pritchard’s landmark “murky digital supply chain” speech was a wake-up call for marketers, the tech industry and thousands of intermediaries who had squeezed themselves into the media supply path to clip the ticket on billions of dollars in digital advertising spend that feeds through the system.

P&G, leading by example, confessed to over-delegating and relinquishing too much control to agency partners and media and tech platforms about where and how its $US7 billion on media was spent. Pritchard himself publicly took responsibility for not being “in the weeds” around the lack of transparency and accountability for P&G’s media investments.

As the Chair of the ANA and with the imprimatur of the biggest advertiser in the US, Pritchard shifted his year-long focus on the murky digital media supply chain being an all-industry problem to last week advocating a control-based solution, with responsibility firmly in the camp of brand owners and marketers. “This is the year we take back control to transform the industry through mass disruption,” he told the conference, compelling marketers to get their hands “back on the keyboard” with his new, equally ambitious agenda to “reinvent media, reinvent advertising and reinvent agency partnerships”. Read more from afr.com…

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