Despite Differences, ANA and 4As Have a Long History of Cooperation

By ANA InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: Despite Differences, ANA and 4As Have a Long History of Cooperation

I’m sure many of you are aware of a situation involving a dispute between the ANA and the 4As regarding media transparency that received widespread coverage in the trade press late last month. Some of the articles called it a “split” or a “confrontation,” but those are overly dramatic characterizations of what is basically a disagreement (albeit an important one) among longtime collaborators.

It’s true that the complex problem of media transparency has led to a fundamental difference of opinion with the 4As. They feel their recently issued guidelines adequately address how agencies and clients should approach the increasingly complicated media planning and buying process. We respectfully disagree and feel the guidelines were released prematurely, prior to the results of an ongoing assessment commissioned by the ANA.

Putting aside the details of our disagreement for the moment, I want to remind everyone in the advertising, marketing, and media communities that the relationship between the 4As and the ANA goes considerably deeper than this single issue; in fact, the two groups have a long, rich history of successfully collaborating on a wide range of joint industry initiatives. They include:

  • SAG/AFTRA: The ANA-4As Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations represents the advertising industry in commercial contract negotiations with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
  • 3MS: MAKING MEASUREMENT MAKE SENSE: 3MS is a cross-industry initiative founded by the 4As and the ANA, along with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The goal is to propose standards for metrics and advertising “currency” to enhance the evaluation of digital media and facilitate cross-platform media comparisons for brand marketing.
  • TAG: The Trustworthy Accountability Group was founded in 2014 by the ANA, the 4As, and the IAB to eradicate digital advertising fraud, malware, ad-supported piracy, and other deficiencies in the digital communications supply chain.
  • DAA: The ANA and the 4As are founding members of the Digital Advertising Alliance, a consortium of leading national advertising and marketing trade groups which administer a self-regulatory program for online behavioral advertising.
  • WHITE PAPERS:The ANA and the 4As regularly collaborate on white papers that address a wide range of industry issues, the most recent of which, “Agency Reviews for Project Work Guidance Considerations,” was released in late January.
  • AD-ID: A joint venture of the ANA and the 4As that is the industry standard for web-based universal coding for digital assets, Ad-ID technology allows ads to be tracked across all media and has been widely endorsed as a cross-media standard by more than a dozen associations, as well as by all national and cable TV networks and many local TV stations throughout the U.S.

The ANA has long respected the 4As for what it represents and the work it does on behalf of its members. For decades each organization has worked tirelessly for the good of our respective industries and I’m certain we will continue to do so, both jointly and individually, regardless of how the media transparency issue plays out.

The decades-old history of mutual cooperation, collaboration, friendship, partnership, and respect between the ANA and the 4As will not be abrogated by disparate positions on this or any other single issue. At the same time, it’s important to remember that rigorous debate and thoughtful, well-researched arguments are essential to the sometimes painful and difficult process of solving complex problems.

The assessment commissioned by the ANA is being conducted by K2 Intelligence and Ebiquity/Firm Decisions. The results are expected to be released in late spring and will include specific recommendations for a set of transparency principles that are grounded in actual facts and data. It is my hope that when that happens, both agencies and clients alike can enthusiastically adopt the proposed guidelines and move ahead in a spirit of openness, cooperation and trust.

Image at top courtesy of Corbis. The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage/MyersBizNet management or associated bloggers.

Copyright ©2023 MediaVillage, Inc. All rights reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.