ANA and 4A's unveil ‘Transparency’ task force to tackle rebate concerns

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has united with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) to launch a task force of senior marketers and agency executives to arrest concerns over US media rebates.

The cross-industry task force is to establish best practices in transparency. Co-chaired by ANA chief executive Bob Liodice and 4A’s chief executive Nancy Hill, the group also includes marketing big wigs from the three biggest global advertisers – Procter & Gamble (P&G), Unilever and L’Oreal – alongside media bosses from three of the largest agency holding groups - WPP, Publicis Groupe and Omnicom.

The ANA’s Liodice said: “We are genuinely pleased that the leaders of our industry recognize that transparency concerns – real and perceived -- need to be addressed and mitigated. Media transactions have become increasingly complex and our priorities must include recommended practices that enhance the understanding of the transaction processes.”

The task force will gather early next month and will report back to the industry later this year.

4A’s Hill, said the task force has a “very important focus” – “to ensure that the long standing partnership between clients and agencies is grounded in trust and understanding”.

“The issues that we face can be solved and together we are committed to establishing a framework that will ensure that trusted partnership continues,” she added.

The group was formed in the wake of allegations from former Mediacom chief executive Jon Mandel that rebates and kickbacks are widespread in the US ad market. Last month, he said the murky practice was the reason he left ad land.

Meanwhile, two of the marketers in the group – Unilever and L’Oreal – are in the midst of media reviews, while P&G has announced it will take the axe to its agency roster in order to cut costs.

A full list of the group can be seen below:

Marketer

  • Tony Pace, chief marketing officer at Subway‎ and ANA board chairman
  • Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at The Procter & Gamble Company and ANA board vice chair
  • Luis Di-Como, senior vice president of global media at Unilever
  • Nadine Karp McHugh, senior vice president of Omnimedia, strategic investments and creative solutions at L'Oreal USA

Agency

  • Bill Koenigsberg, president, chief executive and founder at Horizon Media and 4A’s board chairman
  • Laura Desmond, global chief executive at Starcom MediaVest Group
  • Irwin Gotlieb, chairman at GroupM Worldwide
  • Daryl Simm, chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Omnicom Media Group

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