ANA Issues RFP For 'Transparency' Study: Will Examine All Media Practices, Including Rebates

The Association of National Advertisers has issued a request for proposals for an “Industry-Wide Media Transparency Study.”

The ANA said the goal of the study is to conduct a thorough and objective analysis of all media transparency issues, specifically citing the following objectives:

  • Demystify the landscape to establish an appropriate foundation for solutions and longer-term quality business practices.

  • Understand the practices and processes of holding companies, suppliers, vendors, and media organizations.

  • Assess marketers’ practices and processes.

  • Develop practical solutions and best-practice behaviors that serve as industry standards, with a cornerstone objective of elevating trust and confidence throughout the media-buying supply chain.

The ANA said the bid will go to the  “third-party organization that can dig deep with agencies, marketers, media organizations, suppliers, and vendors. It is the ANA’s belief that the industry requires an independent, objective individual or organization to provide indisputable marketplace clarity and to help set the record straight.”

The ANA’s focus on media transparency began three years ago with the revelation of new forms of undisclosed media rebates.

A survey of ANA members found that many had never heard of rebates and were unaware that various forms of media rebates were part of their company’s media-buying process.

Following the survey, the ANA developed a white paper in conjunction with ANA General Counsel Reed Smith to explain rebates in more detail. In early 2014, the ANA and Forrester teamed up to explore “transparency” more broadly via another ANA member survey. Results indicated growing concerns about transparency across a variety of business practices.

“It is apparent that a wide disparity of opinions exists throughout the industry,” ANA Group Executive Vice President Bill Duggan said in a statement announcing the RFP. “The lack of a common perspective runs the risk of sub-optimizing client/agency relationships and creating an environment of mistrust.”

The ANA set a deadline of close of business on July 10 to submit proposals. Details can be found here.
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