So It's Come To This: Agency Names An Integrity Director

You know an industry has a problem when companies start naming integrity directors. But that’s exactly what SwellShark, the media agency has done.

In order to demonstrate to clients that SwellShark is committed to transparency, brand safety and related issues, the shop has appointed Daniel Schaeffer as its first-ever digital integrity director. He will be tasked with ensuring the quality of digital-media plans and focus on the integrity of SwellShark’s partnerships, as well as the "soundness" of clients’ marketing ecosystems. 

Say what? That’s not the job of a single individual, that’s the job of everybody that works at an agency!

What a sad state of affairs when an agency has to resort to such tactics. Brought on, at least in part, by last year’s ANA transparency report, which purported to document (albeit in a very anonymous way) numerous examples of bad actors in the agency world who weren’t being forthright with clients about things such as undisclosed rebates provided by media companies.

Maybe it’s just the title, but it sounds like an enforcement position—bringing in someone who serves kind of like a cop making sure the agency is abiding by the rules. "Internal Affairs."

Really? This is supposed to give clients comfort that transparency and brand safety violations won’t be an issue on this guy’s watch?

There is no doubt that trust is an issue between clients and media agencies.

But I don’t think it can be resolved or improved by appointing one person at an agency to serve as integrity cop.

What do you think?



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