It was just seven months ago that former industry executive Jon Mandel accused media companies of providing rebates, kickbacks and other incentives to agencies, acting against the best interests of both clients and the industry. Mandel claimed his private study, conducted among unnamed industry executives on behalf of the ANA Media Transparency Task Force, uncovered behavior among media agencies that "cross the line of acceptable conduct in a partnership. They are not transparent about their actions. They recommend or implement media that is off strategy or off target if it works for their financial gain." Mandel's comments are considered, in part, to have contributed to a wave of media agency reviews that are redefining our business. As ANA members and guests gather later this month at the annual Masters of Marketing Conference, Mandel's accusations remain a dark cloud over an industry that is increasingly defined by alleged non-transparency, bot fraud, kickbacks, and other forms of alleged malfeasance and alleged illegal behavior in the advertising value chain from agencies to media sellers to advertisers.
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