K2 Intelligence and Ebiquity — the two firms commissioned earlier this year by the National Association of Advertisers to examine the practices of media agencies — are now separately trying to turn that one-off project into ongoing revenue streams.
K2 has launched a Media Transparency Services practice, which was profiled in today’s Wall Street Journal. Ebquity, along with Firm Decisions and law firm Reed Smith, have begun a media agency contract management service.
K2’s transparency report for the ANA was released by the organization in June and concluded that media agencies in the U.S. frequently engage in so-called “non-transparent” practices, including the acceptance of rebates from media owners without disclosing them to clients.
Last month, the ANA released a set of best-practice recommendations put together by Ebiquity to help clients manage their relationships with media agencies.
The WSJ reported that K2’s new unit has engaged JP Morgan Chase, which is currently conducting an audit of its media shop Zenith, part of Publicis Groupe. The firm is also said to be talking to a number of other prospective clients.
In a blog post on the Ebiquity site, the firm confirmed its new venture, noting that Reed Smith would provide best-practice legal advice and drafting, while FirmDecisions will focus on contract compliance and Ebiquity will confirm that agreed upon pricing in contracts has been achieved.
“This is a critical turning point for advertisers who must regain control of their media budgets and maintain governance going forward via full transparency” stated Michael Karg, Ebiquity Group CEO in the blog post. “We listened to our clients, and responded by forming this alliance to provide them the advice and counsel required to achieve transparency and contract compliance.”