Many advertising agencies in the US have been taking their clients’ media dollars and distributing them in ways that pad their own profits, rather than doing what’s actually best for the client.
They do so in the form of rebates, mark-ups and pre-arranged agreements, all of which take place behind closed doors, completely unbeknownst to the client. If clients are aware of it, they are under the assumption that the agencies do this for better negotiating power, or for more efficiencies…but that is rarely the case.
The bottom line is that marketers are losing media efficiency and the ability to improve their own results. They can’t see what their media spend is really buying, therefore they can’t optimize it. A chunk of every dollar they spend is being wasted before they even begin.
Meanwhile, honest agencies are kept out of the running for significant accounts because they don’t hide their sources of profits, therefore they appear more expensive when they are anything but.
This has got to stop, but it won’t until every marketer is educated and committed to transparency.
Our media arm, Proove Accountable Media , was established to combat these dishonest agencies through providing clients with a better option – and to Proove there’s a better way.
Since it was founded, Proove has been directed by Agency Partner Adam Lutz, who, as evident from last year’s Business Insider article here, has become one of the leading pioneers on media transparency and accountability today.
So how is Proove Accountable Media different?
We only buy media that actually runs.
We don’t force our clients to use a prebuilt trade desk or limit them to particular buying technologies and data partners.
We never saddle our clients with pre-arranged investment commitments. Our job is to evaluate every partner, technology and ad buying platform and give the client the most relevant opportunity to fit their needs, not ours.
We don’t markup inventory or create revenue streams that ultimately deplete our clients’ media budgets.
Everything we do, buy, manage and execute is transparent and in our clients’ best interests.
To be an “agency” implies fiduciary responsibility to put the client’s best interest first. It’s why we got into this business in the first place, to help our clients grow and prosper. We over-communicate. We over collaborate. And then we over deliver.
Unlike the rest of the industry, we are a true agent of the client.
Hold everyone of us at DiMassimo Goldstein and Proove accountable for these promises. We already do.
Our Chief, Mark DiMasismo, takes to the DiGo Beach to shed some light on the controversy surrounding the recent Association of National Advertisers (ANA) report on media kickbacks. To see the full transcript, scroll down below.
Mark DiMassimo On Media Kickbacks from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.
“So a lot of folks want to know what’s all this fuss about kickbacks – media kickbacks – that the ANA (the Association of National Advertisers) and the 4A’s (the American Association of Advertising Agencies) are squabbling about in public. In fact, the ANA, which represents the nation’s largest advertisers, is about to release a report that is predicted to say that most holding companies and agencies are taking kickbacks. Now I don’t know that that’s the fact, and I don’t know that that’s in the report, but that’s what’s being said in the press. And the 4A’s, which represents all the large agencies and holding companies, is coming back and saying ‘before you release your report, ANA, make sure that you have the facts’.
So what is this? What do they mean by kickbacks? I wanted to talk to you about this. I care a lot about it because I run an independent agency. And Independent agencies aren’t necessarily represented by either of those groups.
So we’re on the DiMassimo Goldstein beach here. Let’s look at these bowls of sand. Advertiser: let’s say that this is your media budget (holding bowl 1). And here it is again (holding bowl 2). And this is the independent agency bowl (bowl 1); as you can see, it’s transparent and nearly full. And that’s all your sand right there. In this other bowl, the holding company bowl (bowl 2), they’re probably going to tell you there’s more in this bowl than there is in the other bowl (bowl 1). But if you were to get really close, you would see that there is actually less – maybe 15% – 20% less – sand in this bowl (bowl 2). Why is there less sand in this bowl? I’ll tell you why. Because what is predicted to be finally reported by the ANA is that the holding companies are taking a little bit of the sand from each of those bowls and filling up their big, hidden crystal bowl that they keep in the back room, and are now challenging the 4A’s to prove that they have. But let me tell you, as an independent agency competing against the holding companies for years, I have long suspected and heard from many people on the inside that this bowl does, in fact, exist. And that while holding companies will promise clients ridiculously low commissions in order to get business, in fact, clients are paying bigtime in ways that they can’t track or see. Because the big bowls of media money are hidden, and the only things they see are the small bowls on their report.
So in short, since we don’t know all the facts and can’t know all the facts until this report comes out, and the lawsuits ensue, the fighting between the big advertisers and the big media companies works its way through the court, and there are decisions, etc. Since we can’t know, I would offer you this: in the meantime, there are many good independent agencies. DiMassimo Goldstein and our media arm, Proove, are completely transparent. Clients do not have to wait for a court to tell them where their money is, because it’s 100% evident and transparent, because there only is 1 bowl. There’s only 1 business here – only 1 bowl – and all of the sand that’s in it is your money, the client money. It’s all in there, 100% accounted for. So all of your money goes to helping you build your brand and sell in media. I hope that solved it.”