Emily Tan
Apr 17, 2012

Trading desks a threat to transparency?

GLOBAL - Although 84 per cent of advertisers regard agency trading desks as a threat to transparency, 91 per cent of agencies think otherwise. This clear disconnect came to light in a survey conducted by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and the Festival of Media.

Trading desks a threat to transparency?

The results are based on 70 responses from multinational advertisers and senior global representatives from media agencies. 

Although advertisers and agencies have differing views on the transparency of trading desks, both parties overwhelmingly agree that advertisers have the right to know the actual costs charged by any media owner to any third party acting on their behalf. 

Unfortunately, based on this survey, and a previous one by the WFA, advertisers cited 'media rebates' as the biggest stumbling block to full transparency. Most marketers believe that 100 per cent of any rebate should be passed on to the advertiser but that agencies, particularly in China and Southeast Asia, are failing to do so. 

One way to improve transparency, said 91 per cent advertisers, is via procurement. However, only 64 per cent of agencies agree. 

"Advertisers want improved transparency both in existing areas of media buying and also in the new digital tools and platforms being established," said Stephan Loerke, WFA managing director. "There is common ground in this area and we want to establish a dialogue with agencies and media owners to address this important issue." 

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