Advertisers remain wary over transparency in media trading
Most believe agency trading desks are "a threat to
Concerns about agency transparency
remain at the forefront of advertiser thinking according to a new
survey conducted by the World Federation of Advertisers and the
Festival of Media.
The issue of transparency in media trading will feature strongly
on the agenda at the Festival of Media in Switzerland with WFA
members from Heineken and MasterCard debating the subject on
Tuesday 17 April.
The first comprehensive look at both agency and advertiser
attitudes to transparency shows the issue continues to prove
divisive in key areas. Based on 70 responses from multinational
advertisers and senior global representatives from media agencies,
the results indicate some areas of agreement as well as signs of a
Key findings include:
- Advertisers are wary about some of the new ways of trading
being developed for digital platforms. 84% agreed with the
statement that: "Agency trading desks are a threat to
transparency". 91% of agencies disagreed.
- Both parties agreed overwhelmingly that advertisers have the
right to know the actual costs charged by any media owner to any
third party acting on their behalf. All advertisers and 91% of
agencies agreed with this statement.
- Both agencies and advertisers are equally split as to whether
auditors overstate the issue of transparency, with 55% and 53%
respectively agreeing with this statement.
- Both agencies and advertisers agree that procurement helps
improve transparency in media buying but while 91% of advertisers
agree, just 64% of agencies are positive.
- More than three-quarters of advertisers also cited media
rebates as the biggest stumbling block to full transparency when
asked "what is the biggest issue in the media transparency debate
today?" The vast majority of clients feel that 100% of any rebate
should be passed on to the advertiser.
Said Stephan Loerke, WFA Managing Director; "Advertisers
want improved transparency both in existing areas of media buying
and also in the new digital tools and platforms being established..
There is common ground in this area and we want to establish a
dialogue with agencies and media owners to address this important
issue. If we can resolve these issues than it will make it much
easier for agencies and advertisers to work harmoniously together
for mutual benefit."
Festival Founder and CEO of C Squared Charlie Crowe comments:
"It might seem odd to many of us that "transparency" is
still such a huge issue between advertisers and their
agencies. Media has enormous value-adding capability and our
Festival of Media Awards show how the fusion of great ideas and new
technologies is resulting in the reformation of advertising into
one of the most exciting industries in the global economy today.
And yet it seems that this nettle has not been grabbed. It's the
role of the Festival of Media - and its variants across the world -
to bring all the parties together in order to find a path forward
that works for everyone. I hope The Festival can help the WFA in
achieving this goal."
The WFA transparency debate, involving members from Heineken and
Mastercard, is taking place at the Festival of Media Global in
Montreux, Switzerland from 15th to 17th
April. The WFA will also be highlighting the issue of transparency
and rebates as part of its Asia-Pacific Media and Marketing Network
meeting in Singapore on April 25.
For a full statement on the WFA's position on media buying
please read the WFA's Media Charter at
Note for editors:
For more information on the WFA please contact
+44 (0)1600 713 987
+44 (0)7941 428 243
About the WFA
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) is the voice of
marketers worldwide, representing 90% of global marketing
communications spend- roughly US$700 billion per annum- through a
unique, global network of the world's biggest markets and biggest
WFA's champions responsible and effective marketing
communications worldwide. More information at www.wfanet.org
About the Festival of Media
Now in its sixth year, the Festival of Media Global 2012 is
taking place in Montreux, Switzerland on 15-17 April 2012. The
event celebrates media creativity and innovation from around the
world - uniting global media specialists with senior marketers,
media owners and thought-leaders, to do business and debate the
many changes in media that are altering advertising landscapes
For more information on the Festival of Media please contact
Jessie Winston (+44 7977 118186) or Elizabeth Jones (+44
7825077686) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit for all award entry and event booking
Check out videos of previous festivals and key presentations at
About Festival Founder C
C Squared is one of the fastest-growing specialist publishing,
events and technology companies in Europe. Its mission is to help
the media and marketing industry become more connected and better
informed so that it is fully equipped to respond to the challenges
and opportunities brought about by digital technology
and globalization. The company first launched Cream
magazine in 2005 to reflect the changes taking place in global
media. Cream has now become the world's largest database of media
innovation and its bespoke technology serves many of the leading
global agency groups and multinational advertisers. C Squared
launched the Festival of Media in Venice in 2007 and the brand now
has 3 major Events across the world, attended by 3,000 senior
delegates and receiving over 2,000 Awards entries. In 2009, C
Squared acquired the leading magazine for international
advertisers, M&M; plus the M&M Awards and the popular media
training course, IMM. In 2011 C Squared created its "Original
Events" unit, which has since created leading events for clients
including Wired Magazine and Unilever.