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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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