The slow motion train wreck that is the media rebate and transparency crisis

The recent K2 Report on media transparency and rebates commissioned by the ANA has articulated what we have observed in APAC and especially Australia for the past 4 years or more. It has literally been like watching a train wreck in slow motion. My recent claims of conflict within the AANA are driven by frustration over the continued lack of action on this matter, considering we have seen it coming since 2012. But in fact it all started before then with the Global Recession or Financial Crisis. To explain why we remain so frustrated about the inaction of the AANA and other peak bodies, we’ve taken the time to detail all our main interventions, blog posts and comments around this issue over the last several years, with links for those interested in reading the original material.

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Where do those props you paid for end up after the television shoot?

There is a couple I have known for many years that work in the production industry. She is a stylist and he is an art director. They have a lovely house in the country and they often brag it is totally furnished and decorated from the props and wardrobe from commercial production shoots. This is not unusual actually, as the practice is quite common and most people in the industry know about it. However, in this case they took it to a whole new level. Basically, various advertisers have funded their whole holiday home furnishing and decorating. How does this happen? Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: bad pitch practice and better ways of working with agencies

Debra Giampoli, Director, Global Strategic Agency Relations at Mondelez International, does not think the creative shoot out is the ideal way to select an agency. She and Darren discuss the limitation of the creative pitch and then explore a new way of engaging with agencies that is being piloted by Mondelez International. Continue reading

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Client agency relationships: confessions of an ex-client

The uneasy truth about being a client and what it means to build lasting partnerships in today’s cut-throat environment.

I’d like to confess. Actually, I have multiple confessions to make. Four to be precise. No worries. This is not a remake of “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (2002), so they won’t keep you up at night.

But if you’ve ever been a client, you too would have much to say. By now, we can all agree that the client/agency relationship is no longer what it used to be. Long gone are the days of long-lasting relationships where it took a major blowup for the partnership to be at risk. Continue reading

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Why strategy workshops beat speculative creative pitches for agency selection every time

The most common creative agency tender processes are typically based on a speculative creative pitch. Up until 2007 the pitches run by TrinityP3 were also based on the speculative creative pitch, even though it was clear the process was flawed. The speculative creative work was rarely used; it was incredibly time and resource consuming and relatively insubstantial in assisting in the selection process. Around this time I went overseas to find world-best practice for the various services TrinityP3 was offering at the time – production cost assessments, agency remuneration benchmarking and pitch management. It was this last one that led me to a consultancy in Amsterdam called Scan International and its principal Hein Brecht. Continue reading

Posted in agency search & selection, industry news & trends, marketing procurement | 1 Comment

Managing Marketing: The disruptive effect of change on organisations

Ashton Bishop, CEO of Step Change returns to Managing Marketing to talk with Darren on the relentless pace of change and the impact on categories, organisations and their marketing. They explore the drivers, the effect of change fatigue and explore the benefits of embracing change and the opportunities it creates on a personal and organisational level. Continue reading

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What can marketers do now to manage brands through the media transparency debate?

There’s an old saying. If it swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then even if it’s not 100% duck, it’s certainly been ducking around. Last week’s ANA report on media transparency, and whatever follows in Australia, means that this issue is going to run and run. Maybe it’s the refreshing clarity of the ANA report that has finally made the problem impossible to ignore. But it cannot be a surprise to anyone in the industry for more than five minutes – agencies, marketers or publishers – that the issue itself has finally come to a head. Continue reading

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Multi Market Advertising: Fish in the big pond

Buying media advertising internationally is NOT one additional market although many marketers budget and brief as if it is, that is, until they begin to field the queries and obstacles. It is in fact, many markets planned, bought and executed independently. This means independent contracts with each media supplier in each country or region. With globalisation accelerating, China still rolling along as the most popular frontier market and emerging markets almost tempting the new wave of investment, there is a growing desire and need to communicate, engage and sell to new markets. Continue reading

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The K2 Intelligence Media Report: Rebate-Gate or Stalemate-Gate?

Earlier this week, the investigative company K2 Intelligence, on behalf of the ANA, issued a report entitled ‘An Independent Study of Media Transparency in the U.S. Advertising Industry’. Industry speculation has been that the report would go some way to cementing wide-held beliefs about ‘non-transparent’ practices inherent in media agencies and their holding companies. No pulling punches. For the naysayers, the report hasn’t disappointed. ‘Pervasive’ and ‘substantial’ were words used more than once to describe what the report termed as ‘non-transparent media practices’, across a broad range of areas. Continue reading

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Marketing Procurement: highly effective at the wrong thing?

Professional buying of marketing services is highly inefficient – it just happens to be very effective. Unfortunately at the wrong thing. Professional buying of agency services is based on two key behavioural insights: You cannot win a negotiation that you are not prepared to walk away from
the more emotionally invested you are in a process, the harder it becomes to walk away. If, as a professional buyer, you are incentivised to obtain cost savings from your suppliers, you would naturally develop a buying process that maximises your chances of achieving that. Continue reading

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