New Survey Shows the Gap Between Clients and Agencies on Issues Like Compensation and Briefs

ANA attempts to measure the rift

A new Association of National Advertisers survey of marketers and agencies reveals (perhaps not too surprisingly) little harmony and much discord.

While marketing and agency leaders agree that agencies are valuable to marketers and help drive business results, they differ on how well they work together, the clarity of assignment briefs and the quality of the ad-approval process.

Specifically, just 27 percent of agency leaders polled found marketer briefs to be clear, compared to 58 percent of the marketers. Similarly, only 36 percent of the agencies were satisfied with how marketers approve ads, versus 54 percent of marketers, according to the ANA.

As you might expect, the biggest disconnect was in compensation. Nearly three-quarters of clients (72 percent) described their agency compensation as fair, while only 40 percent of the agencies agreed. 

As ANA President Bob Liodice acknowledged, "There are disturbing legacy issues that continue to plague the partnership that have been further complicated by blossoming transparency concerns." He added that the ANA is "committed to making tangible improvements and will be working in partnership with the 4A's to actively address those issues."

In all, the ANA polled 126 marketer executives and 105 agency honchos in its survey, which took place in January and February. Fifty-eight percent of the agency respondents work at full-service agencies, 23 percent at creative-only agencies, 12 percent at media shops and the remaining 7 percent are specialty players.

An executive summary of survey is accessible here.