Marketers and Agency Leaders Say Open Communication Is Key to Repairing Fraught Relationships

'Radical transparency' between the two parties is essential


Agencies and clients seem to agree that the relationship between the two parties has seen better days.

On Thursday, at an Advertising Week panel moderated by BSSP CEO and founding partner Greg Stern called “Agencies, Clients and the Need for Trust,” Principal Financial Group senior vice president and CMO Beth Brady framed the state of broken trust in the ad industry as a communication problem.

“In the business of communication,” she said, “if we can’t communicate among ourselves, how can we think to be able to communicate to all those people we’re trying to convince to buy our products?”

Brady said “the mad race to put out content” brought on by digital transformation is at the root of the issue, noting that clients “tapped into that” by moving away from traditional agency-of-record partnerships by spreading the work out among a large group of agencies as they struggle to generate an...

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