ANA and 4A’s Provide Marketers with Updated Guidelines for Agency Search

NEW YORK – September 25, 2013 –Today the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) and 4A’s announced new guidelines to help agencies and clients improve their productivity in the agency search process. The 2013 findings, announced during Advertising Week, are a follow-up to the 2011 guidance paper entitled “ANA / 4A’s Guidelines for Agency Search.”  

These guidelines were developed to address the rapidly changing dynamics of the agency-advertiser marketplace. They provide insight on each phase of the agency selection process, as well as tips for successfully completing each phase.

“Marketers are strongly encouraged to take the time to provide proper and detailed briefing guidance throughout the agency selection process or otherwise risk a ‘garbage in, garbage out’ result,” said Bill Duggan, Group Executive Vice President of the ANA.

Highlights from the updated guidelines include:

  • The new business process / agency search is more productive for both agencies and advertisers when specific best practice guidance tools around the subject of briefings throughout the review process are developed
  • Every phase of a review requires a brief for the agency
  • As the review progresses, marketers should escalate the information that they provide to the agency participants and clarify the learning and capabilities expected
  • At each review phase, expand the interaction between the client and agency teams
  • Agency reviews are costly and time-consuming for marketers and agencies. All parties benefit from structuring efficient and relevant briefing practices
  • Best practice briefing practices enhance the likelihood of selecting an appropriate and culturally compatible marketing partner

“Agency selection is an important strategic investment for both agencies and marketers,” said Tom Finneran EVP, Agency Management Services of 4A’s. “Comprehensive briefings lead to a better informed agency-client selection decision in which cultural compatibility plays a big part. The ANA / 4A's briefing guidance is essential to the selection process because it provides actionable tools for clients and agency teams to use at each phase of the review.”

The 2013 guideline updates were developed by a task force of ANA and 4A’s members. They are available on both the ANA ( and 4A’s ( websites. 


About the ANA
Founded in 1910, the Association of National Advertisers leads the marketing community by providing its members with insights, collaboration and advocacy. ANA's membership includes more than 525 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend more than $250 billion in marketing and advertising. The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs, and advance, promote, and protect all advertisers and marketers. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

About the 4A’s
The 4A’s is the national trade association of the advertising agency business. Its membership comprises virtually all of the large, multinational agencies and hundreds of small and mid-sized agencies from across the country. The 1,200 member agency offices served by the 4A’s employ 65,000 people; offer a wide range of marketing communications services, and place 80 percent of all national advertising. The management-oriented association founded in 1917 helps its members build their businesses, and acts as the industry’s spokesperson with government, media, and the public sector. For more information, visit the 4A’s website at 

Press Contacts

Danielle Arnold
CooperKatz & Co. for the ANA

Kathy Sampey
For the 4A’s