Trust between advertisers and agencies has declined in the past 12 months, with just 10% of advertisers rating levels of trust with their agencies as 'high' or 'very high'.
The findings come from ID Comms’ Global Media Transparency Survey, which follows a previous survey which conducted at the height of the media rebates investigation by the Association of National Advertisers.
Since then, the number of marketers who believe that trust is low has fallen from 29% to 40%, while the number who believe it is average has fallen by 12%.
One anonymous advertiser is quoted in the report as saying: “Trust has been breached in a profound way between advertisers and media agencies. The concept of an agency as a true agent is extinct for all practical purposes.”
The four-highest ranked issues that advertisers are concerned about are; how the agency manages rebates/ AVBs, how the agency makes money, how the agency trades with media vendors and how the agency uses group buying/ share deals.
“The vast majority of both agencies and advertisers agree that a close, trusted relationship is likely to lead to better marketing performance but, sadly, right now levels of trust are much lower than they should be,” said Susy Pyzer-Knapp, consultant at ID Comms.
“This is reducing the ability of media partners to use their skills and knowledge to help advertisers grow their businesses.”
The results are based on 232 responses from advertisers across a range of sectors, geographies and disciplines investing more than $25bn on media around the world.
ID Comms said an increased number of agency respondents now agree with transparency being a critical component in building trust. The number of agency respondents who agreed that issues around transparency have a very high influence on trust has tripled in the last two years to 35%.
As advertisers improve their media knowledge and adjusted contracts accordingly to ensure greater levels of transparency, ID Comms found that 20% of agencies and advertisers expect trust to increase 'a little' or 'a lot' over the coming 12 months.