The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has been trying to make some serious moves as of late. From snagging thought leaders from around the world, to covering (and uncovering) issues that are important to the marketing world, we must say that the ANA is really trying to become a bigger voice for the industry.
The marketing association, with its allegiance mainly to client-side marketers, has been looking into media transparency and the "rebate" phenomena for the past couple of years. The practice of rebates, or "kickbacks" to agencies from media companies, is not a new practice. At least, from the agency side of the issue. On the client-side, the lack of knowing that this went on, has put many marketing professionals in a tailspin, with many of them reaching for the slippery slope and wondering what else could the agency be doing that the client doesn't know?
The ANA wants to find out. It was just announced that the ANA is searching for an individual or organization to serve as a third-party to gather and analyze the scope and perception of media transparency. The press release highlights the focus of the RFP, which includes:
-Demystifying the landscape
-Understanding the practices and processes of holding companies, suppliers, vendors and media companies
-Assessing marketers' practices and processes (we're assuming, client-side)
-Developing practical solutions and best-practice behaviors
The ANA even provides a nice background on the relationship between agencies and brands, how media transparency got brought up, and the rise in concern over rebates.
If you or your organization would like to participate, you have to let the ANA know by July 10th, 2015. Final submissions are due July 24th, and then face-to-face interviews with a select number of submissions will be completed.
We hope that the study brings more to the surface of the pressures agencies face when working with media channels and clients. We also hope to see brands turning a softer face to agencies once more light about processes and practices is shown.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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