P&G notified AudienceScience and its new partners of its decision on Monday. P&G’s contract with AudienceScience expires on June 30.
AudienceScience Chief Product Officer Tim Barnes expressed disappointment in an interview with AdExchanger, but said his company would soldier on.
“P&G conducted a big experiment on the idea of productizing an integrated solution that could revolutionize the way media is bought and sold and set a standard for things like fraud control,” Barnes said. “We’ve spent seven years building a solution that does exactly that.”
The end of its relationship with P&G is a serious blow to AudienceScience. The company has other clients, but Barnes said he was not at liberty to identify them.
On the bright side, the company will no longer have to contend with an exclusion contract barring it from working with consumer goods companies that compete with P&G.
“My anticipation is we will continue to speak with other companies especially in the large brand space that see value in the approach,” said Barnes.
Those talks will be buoyed by the considerable data asset that AudienceScience has at its disposal after working with the world’s largest advertiser over such a long period.
“We would never share P&G strategy, data or intellectual property,” Barnes said. “That said, we have 250 publisher relationship globally where we are doing data collection.”
Additionally the company claims to have its tags in the headers of some 1,500 domains worldwide.
CPG Cost Pressure
The ad tech shakeup comes amid considerable marketing budget cuts at P&G. On its Q1 earnings call the company detailed plans to remove more than $1.5 billion in marketing costs – including $1 billion in media costs alone – over the next five years.
The savings will come through a dramatic reduction in the number of agencies on P&G’s roster, from 6,000 to about 3,000 globally.
Additionally, P&G has been vocal about seeking new efficiencies within the programmatic supply chain. Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard has been ubiquitous at industry conferences, lashing out at what he characterizes as an unacceptable lack of standards and accountability in the digital media supply chain.
Even the company’s CFO, Jon Moeller, is piling on.
As Moeller told investors last week, “We’re working to lead the effort on media transparency, eliminating costs in the media supply chain created by poor standards adoption, too many players grading their own homework, too many hidden touches, too many holes, where criminals can rip us off.”
Moeller added, “We’re letting our spending talk.”