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WFA creates a Global Sourcing Board

The World Federation of Advertisers has created a new Global Sourcing Board to accelerate change in marketing procurement by improving practices across the industry. The ambition is to reposition procurement as a driver of company growth rather than a seeker of savings, transforming cultures and approach within sourcing teams as well as perceptions across the wider marketing, finance and agency community.

It has named Tracy Allery, Associate Director, Global Sourcing, Marketing Agencies at Mondelez and Barry Byrne, Senior Global Procurement Director, Sales & Marketing, adidas as co-chairs of the Global Sourcing Board, which will meet four times a year.

The pair will work alongside a panel of experienced marketing procurement leaders from some of the world’s biggest brands. Collectively the new Global Sourcing Board represents companies spending in excess of $50bn on communications each year, giving them the huge power to drive wider change across the profession.

The initiative builds on research carried out by the WFA late last year, which questioned senior marketing procurement executives, most in global roles in 65 of the world’s biggest multi-nationals. The Study found that while 83% of respondents confirmed there was a company mandate in their organisations asking marketers to work closely with procurement, less than a third got involved at budget planning or initiation of requirements in the supplier relationship management process. Ninety-two percent felt that the way their value and performance was perceived internally could be improved.

A key element of the Board’s work will be to champion the WFA’s new Project Spring, which is designed to reshape marketing procurement from being a “cost-killer” function towards acting as a true strategic business partner for stakeholders. Project Spring recognises that while savings targets are not going away, sourcing also needs to deliver on four key pillars:

  • See marketing as an investment, not a cost to be cut;
  • Rethink metrics to move away from cost and towards the value marketing procurement delivers to the company, demonstrating how the disciple can help CMOs achieve their goals;
  • Broaden the services marketing procurement teams offer beyond RFP management, fee and contract negotiations; and
  • To be perceived as champions of growth, not a barrier to progress.

The WFA’s global sourcing community, which meets seven times a year, sees the new board as an opportunity to evolve the current perception of marketing sourcing and its value contribution and is ready to embrace the opportunity to improve the industry as a whole without impacting on the competitive commercial positions of individual member companies.

“We all know that there is frustration, we all know what we want and why we want it, no we need to go and get it. The WFA sourcing board will be a great vehicle to drive change and shape the new face of global marketing procurement. It’s time to make marketing procurement great. The switch from cost to value needs to be massively accelerated, it’s time to revolutionise the category,” said Barry Byrne.

“I’m very honoured and grateful to be co-chair of the WFA Global Sourcing Board with Barry. I look forward to making progress on Project Spring as soon as possible because good work in this space is already underway. The WFA Sourcing Board will help us to formalise the global vision. Our mission is alignment to business priorities and a plan to get there,” said Tracy Allery.

Tracy has held marketing procurement roles for the last two decades. Her experience gained at Mars, Diageo, Hershey and, since 2017, Mondelez covers a wide variety of categories including media, creative, digital/social, sponsorship, licensing, market research, celebrity talent and influencers.

Barry has led global procurement at adidas since February 2018, having previously worked for AB InBev as Global Director, Sports Sponsorships. He has also worked in global procurement roles for SABMiller and Carlsberg and as European Head of Procurement, Indirect for Diageo.

“The launch of the Global Sourcing Board is the first in a series of concrete steps that the WFA, in partnership with its global sourcing community, is taking to accelerate change. Many companies have moved beyond savings and look to understand value in marketing but still with the perception, internally and externally, that they only look for savings,” said Laura Forcetti, Global Marketing Sourcing Manager at WFA. “Tracy and Barry are at the cutting edge of sourcing transformation and their experience will provide fantastic leadership for our new Global Sourcing Board.”