It appears the agency-consultancy stand-off is set to get even uglier with news today that WPP will soon refuse to be involved in pitches that involve its bitter arch-rival, the consultancy firm Accenture.
For a long time now, traditional agencies have feared being audited by the consultancy firms’ accounting arms.
Adland argues that it gives the consultancies too much insight and intelligence into their business model and, in turn, allows the consultancies’ media arms to undercut agencies during the pitch process.
So concerned is WPP by Accenture’s influence, the world’s biggest media company has reportedly announced it will stop participating in any media pitches supervised by Accenture starting in 2020, Didgiday UK is reporting.
Digiday cited an email from an from an unnamed ad executive who works closely with WPP’s GroupM buying arm. The email reportedly states that WPP is threatening to withhold cost and qualitative data from unspecified global pitches that have been overseen by Accenture auditors.
The email reportedly read: “It’s due to Accenture Interactive acting as both an auditor and a media agency of sorts with its pitch to help advertisers take their ad tech in-house.”
Neither WPP or Accenture have verified the claims made in the article. Nor is it clear if other holding companies plan on following WPP’s lead.
However, for WPP’s plans to work, it has to get the clients on side to agree to remove Accenture from the process.
Many media clients use auditors to ensure that their spends match what has been promised by the media agency.
The practice is particularly common in Australia where a media agency acts on behalf of a global client who may not have the appropriate local staff to perform the due diligence themselves.
Any audit can allow access to information such as cost per gross rating points on TV, display CPMs, viewability rates and how the reach of any ad equates to how many times it has been seen.
Agencies argue it gives consultancies unprecedented access to the inner workings of the agency and then allows the consultancy’s media arm to undercut the traditional model at the next pitch.
This is particularly alarming due to consultancies’ strength in things like tech and programmatic.
Didgiday then goes on to quote another unnamed media executive who said of WPP’s mooted boycott of Accenture: “This decision comes from the people at the top of WPP, but it’s hard to see how it plays out at global and local levels.
“A stance like this suggests WPP will say no to being audited as there aren’t many auditors outside of Accenture currently that global advertisers are going to want to use. WPP needs to have a compelling argument to justify the boycott to advertisers as I doubt many will share the same conflicts of interests concerns as agencies.”
Leading Australian market research data brand, RDA Research, provides actionable consumer intelligence to help businesses inform decision making and growth strategies. RDA Research wanted to make its unique consumer data available for addressable digital targeting and required a data onboarding partner to help activate their data in an online environment.
Storytelling agency Enthral has appointed Channel 7 reporter and sports presenter Sean Sowerby as its new senior PR and content manager in Melbourne. Sowerby (pictured) started his award-winning career at 3AW before spending more than 15 years in television. Enthral founder and manager director, Cameron Smith, spoke of the significance of Sowerby joining the agency. […]
This week Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa are celebrating 10 years of their iconic radio show and plenty of famous faces have weighed in on the feat! For Fitzy & Wippa’s 10-year anniversary show they were joined by a bunch of special friends who shared their messages and favourite memories over the last decade. The guys […]
Ever since Google first announced it would be getting rid of third-party cookies on Chrome, digital advertising businesses have been actively sharing their plans for life after cookies. And now programmatic advertising company Blis might have come up with the most creative way to get the message across, in a new video which sees company […]
Integrated Melbourne agency Icon has taken top honours in the 2021 SABRE Awards, winning the coveted Australasian Consultancy of the Year for 2021 along with a host of category and craft awards. Icon led a large field of Australian agencies with a total of three major and seven minor awards, including gold in the cause-related […]
Former agency executives Tim O’Neill and Tim Fouhy have launched the auto technology startup Summon. Australia’s first full e-commerce service for prestige cars. O’Neill and Fouhy both founded Reactive, a digital agency, which was bought by Accenture in 2016. Following the deal, O’Neill and Fouhy ended up leading the company’s digital marketing arm, Accenture Interactive before […]