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ISBA’s statement on the ANA report.
It appears that the ANA investigation has uncovered some rather unsavoury, poor media agency/holding group business practices. Terms like ‘obscured’, ‘dual rate cards’, endemic fraud’, ‘media buyers pressured/incentivised by holding Co’s’, ‘lacking full disclosure’, ‘mandated non transparent business practices’, ‘not contract compliant’, ‘conflicts of interest’, ‘a fundamental disconnect’, litter the report, are not used lightly and should cause the client community in all territories to sit up, learn more, develop better knowledge of contemporary trading practices, and take constructive action in the form of dialogue with their agencies on these issues, more comprehensive contracts and management of those contracts going forward.
The report exposes also some naivety on behalf of the client community, who trusted that their agencies were ‘duty-bound’ to act in their best interests! Many have not up-dated their terms in 10 years and even those who had, had no concept of whether their terms covered them on transparency issues. Clients need to up their game, get media specialists in-house, in most companies media spend is their second biggest expenditure after capital investment, yet there are so few heads of media client side! The ISBA contract will help guide UK advertisers as it explicitly addresses the issues outlined in the report. Clients need to review and up-grade their contracts in light of these findings.
“This investigation may have been US focussed but it has impacts for any company working with a media agency in any territory, we operate in a global industry, in a global market, with global ways of working!”
“ISBA’s template terms for media agency services and this report will make marketers smarter and savvier when it comes to contract negotiations with their agencies. Helping them understand and navigate through the quagmire that is the online advertising industry. This will certainly go a long way towards holding agencies to account and restore the trust that this report will surely have dented.” Debbie Morrison, director of consultancy and best practice
ISBA - The Voice of British Advertisers
12 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8LH
T: 020 7291 9020 M: 07901 528 980 W: www.isba.org.uk
About ISBA – the Voice of British Advertisers
ISBA (www.isba.org.uk / @isbasays) is the only body focused solely on the interests of advertisers in the UK. With over 450 advertisers in membership representing in excess of £10bn spend on marketing communications, ISBA protects its members’ freedom to advertise responsibly and maximise their effectiveness in deploying their marketing spend.
ISBA is the advertiser member of the UK Advertising Association, and advertisers representative on CAP and BCAP the UK advertising code owning body. We are also active members of the International Chamber of Commerce Advertising and Marketing Commission, and members of the WFA based in Brussels.
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