ANA Releases Buyers Guide For Media Data, Eyes 'Agency-Owned' Data Platforms

With at least half of Madison Avenue (IPG’s Acxiom, Publicis’ Epsilon, and Dentsu Aegis’s Merkle/M1) owning Big Data brokers -- and with a litany of independent players in the marketing data supply chain -- the Association of National Advertisers this morning published a report outlining uses cases and a framework for assessing who, what, when, where and why marketers should work with one of them.

The report, “Data Sources For Media: A Buyer’s Guide,” was developed by the ANA’s Trust Consortium, and covers all of the major uses of first-, second- and third-party data, including media planning and buying, programmatic media-buying, “personalization,” reporting and measurement, and accountability and insights.



But a significant portion of it focuses on recommendations for “agency-owned” or “white-labeled datasets, including Dentsu Aegis Networks’, IPG’s Publicis’, and as well as WPP, which owns KBM/iBehavior and still has a significant stake in Kantar.

“Agency ownership of data assets can come with advantages for advertisers,” the report notes, adding, “Integrated data sources can streamline the media buying process for the advertiser and the agency can tailor the offering to the marketer’s needs better than some other third-party data sources.”

However, the report goes on to note that such advantages “should not come at the cost of transparency,” emphasizing that if/when working with an agency’s own data, it’s essential for marketers to assess whether it is media or solutions neutral and in the best interest of its brands.

“When your data is coming from an agency, you should ask all the same questions regarding data quality that you would of another vendor, plus:

  • What is the ultimate source of the data?

  • What data is proprietary to the agency and how was it obtained, cleaned, and refreshed?

  •  What is the relationship and preferred cost of the data vendor with the agency?

  • How am I being charged for the data? Is there a separate line item, or is it baked into my media cost?

    •  How does the fee compare to other vendors of similar data if I were to purchase the data directly from its source?

  •  Can I use the data with my choice of buying platforms or am I limited to using agency tech?

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