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In its much-awaited transparency report the Association of National Advertisers reveals troubling specifics to bolster its accusations of the "pervasive" use of kickbacks and rebates in an ad industry where "senior executives across the agency ecosystem were aware of, and mandated, some nontransparent business practices."
The 58-page ANA study, conducted in conjunction with K2 Intelligence, was released this morning to immediate disdain from the ad industry. While the ANA stopped short of accusing agencies of any illegal activities, the charges are no less damaging: Agencies, for instance, have made markups on media of 30 percent to 90 percent on "principal" transactions, where an agency acts as a principal and buys media on its own behalf before reselling it to a client.