Advertisers, PwC join with MFA in transparency probe

Advertisers, PwC join with MFA in transparency probeThe AANA will work with the MFA on ways to improve transparency in the media industry

Australia’s national advertisers’ association, the AANA, will work with the Media Federation of Australia to develop an action plan for greater transparency in the media buying process.

Separately, the MFA has also engaged auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers to assess what can be done to create greater transparency in the industry and work towards the creation of a plan to achieve this.

“Ensuring there is transparency and trust in the media buying process is a key priority for AANA members,” a spokeswoman for the AANA said.

Earlier this week, the US Association of National Advertisers announced an investigation into undisclosed rebates and other deals conducted non-transparently in US media agencies.

The American association has called for proposals from companies that could conduct such an investigation, designed to head off what association vice president Bill Duggan says is “an environment of mistrust,” according to Ad Age magazine.

Domestically, the MFA has asked PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a “robust process” to investigate concerns about distrust and opacity in business dealings.

“The MFA has been exploring how it can provide some practical solutions for both advertisers and media agencies on how to obtain greater trust in the advertiser/agency relationship,” MFA chief executive Sophie Madden said in a statement.

Ms Madden said she could not comment on the ANA investigation in the United States and any similarities between the two.

The MFA’s separate co-operation with the AANA is a result of the creation of a Media Forum by the two organisations last year. This was set up to work towards creating greater “transparency and trust,” according to a statement issued at the time.

“We have been working with the MFA this year and the intent is to develop practical solutions for AANA and MFA members.  We are hoping to be able to share these in the coming months,” the AANA spokeswoman said today.

“Clearly, transparency in media buying is a global issue, and, through our membership of the World Federation of Advertisers, we keep abreast of developments in other markets so that we can secure the best practice outcomes.”

Locally, transparency became an issue after GroupM subsidiary MediaCom was found recently to have been misreporting the results of campaigns to clients. The company engaged auditors Ernst & Young to conduct an investigation which confirmed the practice. It adopted all of the recommendations made by E&Y to ensure greater transparency.

Leave a comment