The Vote Is In: Transparency Crosses 'Party' Lines: Clients, Agencies Agree 4As Is Right

Following a year in which the rancor and partisanship in the U.S. ad industry was second only to the U.S. presidential race, it turns out there is much more unity surrounding issues of media-buying “transparency.” While it likely is a far less scientific process than the U.S. electoral process, a survey of ad industry executives shows that far more side with the American Association of Advertising Agencies' (4A’s) transparency “principles” than agree with the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) recommendations.

Importantly, those views are held almost equally among advertisers as they are among agency executives polled in October by Advertiser Perceptions Inc. for MediaPost. While the survey, which was conducted online among 303 ad executives (60/40 agency/marketer) is not necessarily representative or projectable, it suggests that industry views over transparency may not be as simple and clear cut as some may have thought.



By a margin of nearly two to one, more industry executives believe the 4A’s transparency principles are right. And while agency execs indexed slightly higher than marketers on that response, the margin was essentially the same for both sides, suggesting the views are far less partisan than might have otherwise been thought.

That said, roughly a third of all respondents believe both associations should remain “neutral” on the subject, while roughly the same percentage believe the rancor will get worse before it gets better.
8 comments about "The Vote Is In: Transparency Crosses 'Party' Lines: Clients, Agencies Agree 4As Is Right".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 9, 2016 at 9:51 a.m.

    Very interesting, Joe. Did your study ask respondents to what extent they were involved in digital versus traditional media buys/spending? If so, it would be most interesting to see how those mostly involved in digital compared with those mostly involved with traditional media compared.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 9, 2016 at 10:13 a.m.

    Good Luck

  3. Joe Weaver from Promatica, November 9, 2016 at 10:35 a.m.

    I'd call BS on this one.

  4. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, November 9, 2016 at 10:51 a.m.

    @Joe Weaver: Assuming you don't mean "buy-side," please elaborate? Just your gut or something else?

  5. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, November 9, 2016 at 11:12 a.m.

    @Ed (and everyone esle), Advertiser Perceptions is digging into more granular data on the respondents, but the total base was 303 respondents 60/40 agency/marketer. And all are involved in digital advertising.

  6. Joe Weaver from Promatica, November 9, 2016 at 11:27 a.m.

    Very much like the events over the past 72 hours, there is a silent majority and a movement towards requiring transparency and change in this industry.  Most brand marketers are demanding transparency and are very closely aligned with the ANA and findings of the study distributed by K2 this summer.  We're certainly busy here at Promatica and believe that is the silent majority speaking up but they're not doing it publically.  Most of our clients prefer to work behind the scenes due to the sensitivity of these issues. 

  7. Frank Papsadore from Advertiser Perceptions, November 9, 2016 at 12:39 p.m.

    Our methodology for the record... More than 300 digital advertisers were anonymously surveyed online on October 2016.  Approximately 60% represented agencies and 40% marketers, and all were qualified as being involved in making digital media decisions on behalf of their company/ client.  While the mix of titles and functions varied, more then 45% had VP level titles or above. 

  8. Carole Walker from Integrity Marketing & Media LLC, November 14, 2016 at 6:07 p.m.

    Joe, How can you have a headline that says "clients and agencies agree the 4As is right" when the findings are neither representative nor projectable?

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