If you've been following the news about the business of media in advertising over the past several years, you've surely noticed an increasing and almost obsessive interest in the media buying part of the equation. This breathless reporting runs the gamut from billing transparency issues to digital programmatic auction practices, to bot fraud, to ad tech stacks, to blockchain potential and on and on. Not that a focus on buying is out of order. After all, the driving principle that birthed the big media agencies 20 years ago was at heart a consolidation of resources to achieve critical mass in buying in the media marketplace. And not incidentally, this move by the agency holding companies was very easy to explain to the investment community. It was a familiar idea, and much less complicated than the intricacies of media strategy planning. Then, a bit later, clients brought their procurement folks into the mix -- and procurement is naturally looking for objective numerical evidence, accessible within short time frames, to benchmark agency performance. That evidence is readily found in media buying. In planning, its not so easy. So media buying audits are a standard part of the media business landscape.
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