Undisclosed Kickbacks and Rebates: Do you really know if your advertising agency or agent is participating in or taking any undisclosed, hidden, “secret deal” kickbacks, rebates, or merchandise from any media vendor or supplier as inducement to buy media schedules for your company? One example of unethical behavior is offering a media buying firm lavish trips and accommodations if the firm places “x” amount of dollars over a one-year period whether it is one advertiser or adding up multiple advertisers. This is an area that should be carefully scrutinized in the selection of any media buying firm to ensure that your company is being treated fairly, honestly, and objectively in the placement of all media by an agency. The practice is alleged to be widespread and much bigger than many thought. Click here for details from Ad Age Magazine.
No one outside the ANA has seen the report, but news broke yesterday, first by the Wall Street Journal, revealing what the report would contain. One of the key findings is that the practice of collecting rebates on media buys in the U.S. is rampant across the large holding companies, multiple people who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Ad Age.