News & Opinion

Our Code of Practice for the media industry

Our Code of Practice offers guidance to brand organisations, media agencies, platforms and auditors/advisors on how we as an industry can work collaboratively to deliver more trusting and transparent relationships:

Brands, Marketers & Advertisers (Organisation)


Provide absolute clarity of fiduciary and compliance expectations

Use credible, non-conflicted and suitably qualified advisors to ensure contracts include appropriate terms and conditions to protect company interests

Be respectful of an agency’s policies, procedures and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Respect the agency’s right to be profitable and agree on levels for the company’s assignments

Ensure internal stakeholders understand and comply with contractual terms and responsibilities

Implement robust agency governance and compliance procedures

Insist on separate agreements for principal media

Avoid reverse auctioning agency hourly rates and payment terms

Do not demand rebates or benefits beyond fair share


Media Agencies, Subsidiaries & Holding Companies (Agency)


Disclose all income derived from media and technology sellers

Commit to full disclosure of all income and expenditure related directly or indirectly to company expenditures and activities

Permit full horizontal and vertical audit rights to professionally accredited and non-conflicted advisors

Fully disclose all principal media recommendations in plans and subsequent buys

Offer full transparency of trading desk costs and revenues

Identify all media bought from an entity where the agency has an interest

Directors must not be permitted to have a financial interest in any sellers

Refuse income for ‘services’ from sellers

Refuse to trade on ratchet based volume incentive schemes


Compliance & Performance Auditors (Advisor)


Agree to full disclosure of performance processes and methodologies

Offer data-pool opt-outs for trading offers made under pitch conditions

All individuals involved in compliance auditing must be bound by a recognised professional code of conduct, e.g. ACCA

Enforce and comply with strict standards on data protocols and confidentiality


Media/Platform owners, Technology vendors (Seller)


Support adoption of the Code of Practice by disavowing non-transparent trading practices intended to reward agencies at the expense of the companies they ultimately serve

Disclose total rebates paid in cash and inventory

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