Transparency Issues in Post Production

October 14, 2014

By Bill Duggan

AICE is a “sister” industry trade association to the ANA. They represent the independent creative editorial, design, visual effects, color grading, and audio post production companies. AICE has just released a position paper titled, A Push for Greater Transparency, Ethics, and Fairness.

According to AICE, “The proliferation of in-house editorial and post services offered by ad agencies is an area of growing concern for the independent post production community. While these capabilities have been available for some time, the business practices surrounding their current implementation and their impact on agency clients and the independent post production community has motivated AICE to raise questions about transparency, ethics and fair competition for advertisers, agencies and the industry at large. Despite being touted by agencies as efficient ways to edit and finish work faster and cheaper – a claim not always supported by facts – in-house facilities exist largely to create additional revenue streams for the agencies themselves.”

The AICE statement addresses the issue of transparency: “We believe some marketers are not fully aware of what they’re getting when their work is completed at agency in-house facilities, or whether the use of them represents the best option to ensure the best final product and the best talent for their money. Further, the bidding process is not always done in the open, with clients fully aware of the ownership status of the companies submitting the bids.”

ANA has been addressing the “transparency crisis” in our industry throughout the year.

Concerns about the level of transparency of media agencies is likely at an all-time high. That includes issues like not knowing if an agency makes money from the media sellers on a client’s media buy (e.g., are they getting rebates from the media?) and murkiness about the role of intermediaries in the media buying process, especially with agency trading desks and programmatic buying. The ANA has written about these issues extensively in the following:

The ANA applauds the fact that AICE has voiced concerns about transparency issues in post production. We will help educate ANA members on this issue and suggest that they have conversations to fully understand the in-house editorial and post services offered by their ad agencies.

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