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ANA calls out 4A’s for releasing media transparency guidelines it deems ‘premature’


By Minda Smiley, Reporter

January 29, 2016 | 2 min read

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is calling out the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) for releasing media transparency guidelines that the ANA believes are “premature” and “fail to adequately reflect the best interests of marketers.”

The battle comes after the ANA and 4As united to form a task force last year to establish best practices in transparency.

Yesterday, the 4A’s released a ‘Transparency Guiding Principles of Conduct’ that covered three main topics including client and agency relationships for US media planning and buying services, commercial relationships between agencies and media vendors, and client/agency governance.

But the ANA feels that the 4A’s did not go far enough. In a statement released today, the ANA said that marketers “should press their agency partners for full financial disclosure and far more robust audit rights,” should “know how every dollar is deployed and the effectiveness of every one of their media investments,” and should “have a complete understanding as to whether their media partners are acting as agents or principals.”

Aside from the guidelines, the ANA also said in its statement that “it was inappropriate that the 4A’s issued its press release with the unauthorized use of ANA member company names.”

The ANA stated that is set to reveal transparency principles that are “grounded in actual facts in data” later this year after investigative consultancy K2 Intelligence and marketing analytics firm Ebiquity/Firm Decisions issue findings from an industry assessment. It is asking industry executives to volunteer their perspectives by calling 800-645-3083 or emailing


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