Reports: P&G Slashing TV Ads

Consumer-products company Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), known for such brands as Tide detergent and Pampers diapers, is making major reductions in its advance buying commitment of television commercials for the fall season, according to published reports.

The decision by the Cincinnati-based company, which is the largest advertiser in the country, was discussed with television executives during the ongoing negotiations on upfront spending, The Wall Street Journal (search) reported Monday. Upfront negotiations are held annually to determine how much companies will commit in advance to buy TV commercials for the upcoming season.

The newspaper also reported that P&G, one of the pioneers in TV advertising, is looking to shift money into varied forms of TV marketing, including placing products on TV shows.

P&G spent $2.5 billion of its $3 billion advertising budget on television in 2004.

A spokesman for P&G said Monday he could not confirm any details of the company's marketing strategy for television.

"We are still in negotiations as is everybody else," said David McCracken, manager of external relations for P&G. "We do our best to predict the anticipated needs of our brands and that is part of the upfront piece of our strategy, but it's hard to generalize because each of our brands is different."

All marketers have been challenged to drive advertising spending toward higher return on investment, McCracken said.

P&G's plans also were reported last week by the Myers Report (search), an advertising industry newsletter.