Procter & Gamble Urges Transition to Digital Advertising Future

Procter & Gamble executive Denis Beausejour encouraged attendees at the @d:tech conference in Chicago to “step out of the box” and realize the full potential of interactive advertising.

He also called for an advertising “stakeholders” summit to understand and accelerate the transition to the digital advertising future.

In a keynote address entitled “Branding and Bonding Beyond the Banner,” Beausejour, P&G vice president for advertising, said “the Web has the potential to be a dramatically more effective way for us to communicate with the people who buy and use our products.”

Yet, the Web still has significant barriers prohibiting it from fulfilling its full potential. In addition to technical constraints and measurements, Beausejour said the biggest barrier is the fact that the industry has “built a box” around thinking about interactive advertising.

“We’ve settled on ad models like banners and buttons before the interactive show even begins. We’ve limited our trajectory at a time when ad space can evolve in unlimited ways. We haven’t even begun to explore the possibilities out there.”

P&G, which claims to be the world’s largest advertiser, recently stepped up its investment in interactive media, spending $3 million this quarter, a dramatic increase over the previous quarter.

“But even more significant than the spending level is what we’re spending on,” Beausejour said. “Eighty percent of the ads we’re placing on the Web this quarter are units that reach beyond the traditional banner.” These new units include daughter windows, sideframes, push-advertisements and interstitials.

To accelerate the development of digital media to the next mass medium, Beausejour announced P&G will host an interactive advertising forum of large advertisers and key content and technology players “to figure out what it will take to transform the web into the space it can be.”

Companies already signed on to participate include Coca-Cola, AT&T, Levi-Strauss and McDonalds. The summit, entitled FAST-Forum (Future of Advertising Stakeholders Forum), will take place in Cincinnati in late summer.

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