Anyone who doubted that there has been a change in the mood among advertisers over the many challenges facing the advertising industry today would have changed their mind after the first full day of the 2017 ANA Media Conference.

The ANA is a campaigning organisation, and they have set out with stark clarity a twelve point agenda for change with the aim of improving marketing’s contribution to business growth. The background is that US business is down (by 7% on the measures used by the ANA) and marketing has to help restore growth.

The ANA Masters’ Circle ‘manifesto’ addresses a vast range of actions needed to reinvigorate marketing, covering Talent, Creativity, Organizational change, Measurement, Ad blocking, Diversity and a host of other areas which require attention. This manifesto is badged as ‘Taking Our Industry Back’, and it calls on US advertisers to support their programs within their organizations.

Among these are Media Transparency and the Digital Media Supply Chain, and it very clear that US advertisers are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. The 2016 Media Transparency initiative conducted by the ANA exposed the corrosive effects of media trading incentives and there is particular concern over an online eco-system which is not working for advertisers.

After his barnstorming IAB address, Marc Pritchard, the Chief Brand Officer for Procter & Gamble, reiterated his company’s new-found program for change, with a single viewability standard for online advertising, accredited audience research for digital properties, the reduction in ad fraud and transparent agency contracts.

Another spell-binding speech left no doubt that P&G are leading a call to arms to advertisers everywhere to join them and the ANA in tackling these issues head-on, starting now.

“It’s not a spectator sport, it’s a team sport”, declared Pritchard, and reprised the process by which P&G came to realise their own shortcomings in the digital and transparency space.

The day’s content went on to look at an impressively diverse range of issues, such as the reconvergence of creativity and media via data analytics, IBM Watson’s use of Artificial Intelligence in programmatic, PepsiCo’s own content studio and how EA has in-sourced programmatic. All good stuff, but when delegates look back, the moments they will recall most clearly came in Marc Pritchard’s tour de force. One final quote: “what is good for advertisers is good for agencies and publishers”. This is how it should be and where the industry needs to get to.

The ANA’s leadership in their ‘Taking the Industry Back’ program is designed to ‘make Advertising great again’. We all have our parts to play in that objective.

Image credit: (Association of National Advertisers)