Media transparency continues to show its face amongst the AdLand community, and now it is going to introduce some new players. If you remember back during the summer, there was a pulse survey done during one of ANA's mini-conferences about transparency and knowing exactly what brands are paying for, and how — more importantly — agencies are being paid. The stark results, even for a pulse survey, raised the alarm such that the ANA announced in July that it was searching for one or two firms to spearhead a detailed and thorough report about media transparency while clearing up some misconceptions along the way.
When it closed the RFP in late July, it had a selection of 26 different firms, and conducted about a dozen face-to-face interviews.
The firms are K2 Intelligence and Ebiquity/FirmDecisions; the former an analytic firm specializing in complex business assessments, and the latter a marketing intelligence and performance firm.
Like we mentioned in the previous post in July, one of the charges that the two firms have is compiling best practices and normative behavior between agencies and clients.
Hopefully, it's not as short of a list as we think.
Do we believe that this task force will be useful? Sure; we hope that it will uncover some practices and, more importantly, educate people on how clients and agencies use the media. Brands are very careful with their money. We understand that. But we hope that this report doesn't bring upon any unintended consequences. For example, because agencies have multiple clients that may need media placement, it is not unusual to try to make a deal with different media buyers or placement companies. The additional funds that could be left over could be used bolster the agency team or add it to a different piece of the marketing campaign.
If the dynamic duo believes that this use of extra funds is an injustice, the firms could potentially take away the bargaining power that agencies possess. In turn, costs for placing media could actually increase.
We guess it's up to the ANA and its hired team to decide.
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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