Media transparency continues to be a key challenge for marketers

As the annual Masters of Marketing conference takes on more of a freewheeling tone, Media transparency continues to be a key challenge for marketers, as Stephen Broderick, CEO at FirmDecisions, discusses.


Stephen Broderick, CEO of FirmDecisions, a unit of Ebiquity that helped develop the ANA’s model contract, discusses the issue of transparency. Stephen says that the real test will come in late 2019 and early 2020, as clients begin to audit agency performance under new contracts signed in 2017. “We’re auditing those contracts now,” Broderick says. “I can categorically tell you things have not gotten better. If anything, they’ve gotten slightly worse, because what we’re seeing now, as perhaps expected, is that there’s more intent to what the agencies are doing.”

That implies, he says, that agencies are “setting out with an intent to circumvent their obligations, or intentionally signing up to certain practices and contracts knowing they’re going to do the opposite.” Volume-based cash rebates have gone away, Broderick says. But he sees more deals where media companies pay agencies for service contracts of questionable value, or commingled buys where agencies leverage the collective buying power of clients to get low-cost inventory on their own accounts, which in turn they can resell to clients.


To read the article in full on the AdAge website, click here. 


First featured 03/09/2019.