ID Comms talks to Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the ANA, about the 2016 Media Transparency report and its lasting impact.
The transparency report highlighted a number of issues around the US media market and its influence can still be felt in the ANA’s approach to programmatic says Bob.
“The United States that had essentially been relatively free from any type of rebate activity or unusual media behavior. For many, many years, those were behaviors that existed in in Europe, in Latin America and other parts of the world, but essentially was not necessarily part of the US market. When we started to hear whispers of what we'll call less than desirable behavior, we all had to understand what the potential risks were and the types of behavior that were being exhibited,” he says.
Liodice, who has worked at ANA since 1995, highlights the fact that while the initial report was focused on media rebates, transparency is essential for effective marketing.
“To make optimum business decisions, you need to ensure that you have the optimum amount of information to make the best marketing and brand decisions. Otherwise, you're going to okay, sub-optimize your performance and leave money on the table.”
And he highlights that while people talk about the Media Transparency report as one single event, there were essentially three elements to 2016’s revelations and solutions. First there was the K2 Intelligence report, which documented what was taking place, then there was the Ebiquity report that highlighted measures that could be taken by marketers, and finally there was a revised media agency contract produced by Reed Smith.
“The contract was in many ways was one of the most important elements, because some of the marketers that we had a one-to-one conversations, with some of the biggest brands in the United States and in the world, hadn't rethought their media agency contracts in years,” he notes.
The ANA continues to be vigilant about transparency in its widest form, as noted by its recent RFP to seek better understanding of the programmatic media supply chain.
“We need to use transparency as an action item in all of our respective behaviors at a trade body level. We have to stay alert to what in fact may be taking place that is leading to greater degrees of opaqueness,” he says. “We should not tolerate a supply chain that is riddled with mystery, with complexities. Our supply chain partners, agencies, the publishers, the DSPs, the SSPs, everyone should do their very, very best to open the vaults and let everyone see what in fact is taking place. Now that may be somewhat wishful thinking, but I think it's at the heart of our goal to optimize marketer's investment spending. When brands succeed, everyone succeeds and money flows throughout the supply chain.”