Media Rebates: In Search of the Facts

November 2, 2015

By Bob Liodice, CEO, ANA

Rance Crain’s recent piece in Ad Age further highlights the need for greater transparency in the advertising industry. However, the statement that ‘advertisers are reluctant to shine too bright a light’ on the issue of rebates is misleading — well short of the facts needed to make such an assessment. The reality is that ANA’s pursuit of the facts about transparency is quite robust. ANA’s independent project is an assessment to identify truth and to set the record straight. It will dig deep with agencies, marketers, media, suppliers, and vendors — as much is not understood. ANA’s fact finding will be done equally and with impartiality. And it will be done with the intent to bring clarity to all, especially the marketer community — a community that deserves far greater transparency.

Our intent is not to “tip toe" around the issue. ANA’s board of directors would have none of that. The board’s direction was quite clear — “get the facts” — which is the reason the ANA selected the firms that it did through its time intensive review process.

The board did, however, want to recognize that marketers and agencies need to work together to provide much needed transparency. Marketers cannot accomplish this alone. That is the reason ANA’s board engaged 4A’s leadership at its recent board meeting. It is also the reason why we are actively working with the 4A’s to jointly develop client/agency transparency principles. These will be rolled out in stages and will likely be shaped, over time, by our fact finding effort.

Sounds pretty pragmatic, straightforward, and practical to me. I’m sure we’ll all have more to debate once we get the facts.


You must be logged in to submit a comment.