ANA Calls On 4A's To Clarify Its Position On Transparency, Invites Its Board To Meet With ANA

The Association of National Advertisers this morning called on the 4A’s to “publicly clarify” its position on the ANA’s recent media-buying transparency recommendations, and to explicitly state whether it accepts or rejects the findings of an ANA-commissioned report, its recommendations and a template for media-buying contracts between clients and agencies.

The call, which came in the form of a statement from ANA CEO Bob Liodice, also invited members of the 4A’s board to meet with members of the ANA’s board at its upcoming Masters of Marketing conference to try and resolve the impasse.

“We find it perplexing that the 4A’s decided to ignore those voices and default to a survey of its own members,” Liodice stated in reference to the 4A’s decision to reject the ANA’s proposal and recommend that 4A’s member agencies use the 4A's own principles instead.



Liodice’s statement was in response to one made Monday by 4A’s President and CEO Nancy Hill recommending that its members continue using the 4A’s own “Transparency Guiding Principles of Conduct.”

Relations between ANA and 4A’s members have been increasingly strained on the subject, but the statements indicate that the two trade associations are at loggerheads over the issues, which also come at a time when 4A’s Hill is stepping down and the association has begun a search for a successor.

“Rather than offering new insights into the depth and magnitude of the transparency issue and offering positive suggestions on how the problem could be resolved, the 4A’s chose to dismiss the recommendations, and essentially called for a preservation of the status quo,” Liodice stated, adding: “They urged their members to adopt their own guidelines that were issued in January, which the ANA and its constituents deemed incomplete and not fully or adequately reflecting the best interests of marketers.”

The ANA’s Masters of Marketing conference takes place on Oct. 19 in Orlando.

“It is our sincere hope that the leadership of our industry can confer, have an open dialogue, and create a pathway that will lead to industry consensus and collaboration,” Liodice concluded.
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