Trust Between Marketers and Agencies Is Earned!

By ANA InSites Archives
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Trust, according to is, "reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing."  There has been much recent debate about the level of trust in today's advertising industry, and a just-released report from the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) confirms that client-side marketers indeed have trust issues with their agency partners.

Less than 30 percent of respondents to the ANA member survey indicated the current level of trust between client-side marketers and advertising agencies is high, and that is a concern.

  • 28.7 percent identified trust as being "high"
  • 54.6 percent identified trust as being "moderate"
  • 16.7 percent identified trust as being "low"

Across all respondents -- those characterizing the current level of trust between client-side marketers as being high, moderate, or low -- transparency was a common denominator.  In other words, enhanced transparency contributes to high trust; transparency concerns contribute to moderate and low trust.

Versus two to three years ago, the majority of respondents (59 percent) said they feel trust between client-side marketers and advertising agencies has stayed about the same.  More alarmingly, more than twice as many respondents (28 percent) feel trust has declined versus those (13 percent) who feel trust has improved.

Clearly, the industry has not yet rebounded from the transparency issues first brought into the mainstream by Jon Mandel's speech at the 2015 ANA Media Conference, and then by the 2016 ANA-commissioned report from K2 Intelligence, "An Independent Study of Media Transparency in the U.S. Advertising Industry."   Media agencies in particular need to take notice.

To help chart a more positive and productive course moving forward, the new ANA report provides perspective from members on ways to enhance trust between client-side marketers and advertising agencies.  Key themes focused on the fundamentals of better communication, alignment, enhanced transparency, agencies understanding the business, fair compensation and marketers needing to invest time/resources. 

To address trust issues, the ANA has launched the ANA Trust Consortium.  The goal of the Trust Consortium is to restore trust between marketers and the digital supply chain.  The Trust Consortium will be a voice for brands on transparency, measurement, auditing, digital fraud and brand safety. ANA general counsel Reed Smith will assume a leadership role in its overall operations.

The more transparency brands have, the better they can manage their marketing investments and reach consumers.  A transparent marketplace best assures that brands control decisions on how they spend billions of dollars.  And a transparent marketplace elevates trust.  But as one ANA survey respondent said, "Trust is earned!"

Much more can be found in the new ANA report, "Enhancing Trust Between Marketers and Agencies."

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