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Media Transparency

How important is ‘transparency’ in media?

Media transparency has been a hot topic. But can you have too much transparency? And what is the right amount? Since the issue blew up globally five years ago, much work has been done by advertisers and their media agencies. Find out what you need to know with Media Minutes.

SCRIPT

DARREN: Welcome to Media Minutes. I am Darren Woolley
STEPHEN: And I am Stephen Wright
DARREN: In the next few minutes we will with you our view on the importance of transparency in media. Stephen?
STEPHEN: Yes, Darren… Transparency, the buzzword of 2019 which for some advertisers has now become a key measure of trust in their media agency relationship.
DARREN: So how achievable is transparency today? The industry outrage of a few years ago suggested things were murky, opaque at best.
STEPHEN: Yes, things were murky and there was an initial period after the ANA expose when agencies defended their right to a lack of transparency and confidentiality the margin they took.
DARREN: And how was that received by Advertisers.
STEPHEN: Not at all well by many of the bigger advertisers and the global media groups quickly realised they needed to come to the table.
DARREN: So, where are we now Stephen? With how much transparency do advertisers now operate?
STEPHEN: We’re in a much better space now. All the Agency groups now preach transparency with contract templates that offer full disclosure.
DARREN: So, its job done… transparency achieved.
STEPHEN: Well…yes and no. To achieve transparency an advertiser needs to have a media-specific contract. We see a lot of generic supplier agreements that don’t cover key areas.
DARREN: OK, so what are these agreements lacking?
STEPHEN: For starters a very, wide-reaching definition of the term rebate and a multitude of other factors concerning structure, audit rights, data.
DARREN: So, what you’re saying is that if you haven’t updated your contract recently you have no guarantee of transparency.
STEPHEN: That’s right Darren but there will always remain one or 2 areas where it’s impossible to be assured of full transparency.
DARREN: What are these areas then Stephen? And more importantly, should this be a concern for advertisers?
STEPHEN: The digital industry is now dominated by a number of key global players. Media has a handful of large global media groups. It makes sense for both parties to do regional or even global deals for massive volumes that deliver additional commissions and margin.
DARREN: So, it should be a concern for advertisers?
STEPHEN: Not really, in many cases, the value achieved delivers far more competitive pricing than the agency and advertiser could otherwise achieve. The agency may earn a bigger margin but if the client benefits as well it’s a win-win situation.
DARREN: So full and complete transparency is a utopian ideal. But what can now be achieved is perfectly acceptable?
STEPHEN: I believe so Darren, we now see a lot of advertisers working cooperatively with their media agency to good effect. For these advertisers, preoccupation with transparency is a distraction that stands to achieve little.
DARREN: Thank you, Stephen, that’s very encouraging. And we encourage you to subscribe to Media Minutes. A weekly snack on all thing’s media. Until then. I’m Darren Woolley, and he’s
STEPHEN: Stephen Wright
TOGETHER: And this is Media Minutes.