The controversial issue of transparency between brand marketers and their advertising agencies appears to be at, or very near, a tipping point — but the journey has been slow and torturous.
At the heart of the long-simmering dispute has been the extreme lack of transparency around media buying and the nature of the relationship between agencies and the brands they (are supposed to) serve. This was detailed at length in the released two years ago. But transparency is just a symptom, says attorney Douglas Wood, a partner in Reed Smith LLP and the leader of the firm's advertising and marketing law practice. "The real issue is trust, because the law can only do so much," he says.