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Pernod Ricard CEO details its media supply chain crackdown as it looks to be less reliant on third parties

Pernod Ricard relying on in house media efficiencies amid P&G transparency calls

As P&G begins to review all of its agency contracts in 2017 to exert greater control over the quality of its media strategy, Pernod Ricard is hoping that its own efforts to internalise digital media buying and soon its content production will be enough to achieve clearer transparency and exert more direct control over its media.

Speaking to The Drum earlier today at the Pernod Ricard half year results, chief executive Alexandre Ricard said that comments made by P&G’s top marketer Mark Pritchard included some “interesting points”, before adding there “is a lot going on” at the business when it comes to getting to know consumers directly versus going through agencies.

“What we have been doing at Pernod Ricard over the last couple of years, first of all, is internalising our media buying on digital,” he said. “We are focussing on programmatic media buying internally, it gives us more control over the space we are buying in and who we want to target on the media side and likewise in consumer insight. There is a lot going on in getting to know consumers directly versus going through agencies."

The maker of Absolut and Chivas first made the move last October to bring its programmatic activity in house in an effort to centralise management of media buying for its portfolio range.

“There are many levels where we can gain in efficiency when it comes to media and in terms of buying and post analysis of its effectiveness and at some point in the near future a link with transactions," added Ricard.

Pernod Ricard is currently in the process of internalising its content production, both to become more cost efficient, but also to exercise greater control of its output. Ricard hinted the business is looking at this more intensely as the drinks maker progresses further in terms of analysing the health and the brand equity of its business. It is also running a social listening pilot this year, which it can then use “as direct knowledge, which tends to be a lot more transparent in any case by nature”.

This forms part of the drinks makers drive to interact more directly with consumers by gathering data from their online behaviour. However, Ricard said that was the “easy part” when it comes to digesting and utilising such information.

“In a way that is the easy part but it's how you digest and use the data to improve your relationship in terms of brand messaging and proposition. You cannot rely on third parties to know your consumers”.

Overall sales in the half year at Pernod Ricard grew by 4% to €5. 061m boosted by continued growth in the US and sales of it Jameson brand worldwide. In the UK the company’s ecommerce business grew at a rate of 43% year-on-year, now accounting for 6% of its off-trade grocery sales, driven by the likes of Tesco.com