EACA Releases New Media Auditing Guidelines

EACA Releases New Media Auditing Guidelines

Brussels, 7 December 2021: The European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) has released new “Media Auditing Guidelines” to provide advertisers and their agencies with a framework for best practice media audits management.

The paper was produced by EACA’s Media Auditing task force, led by Nicolas Grand, SVP Transformation at Omnicom Media Group, and included key global investment representatives from all media agency groups. 

This is an industry first, and the outcome of extensive discussions involving all 6 global media agency networks who have aligned on and endorsed the document: GroupM, Omnicom Media Group, Publicis Groupe, Mediabrands, Dentsu, and Havas.

Nicolas Grand stressed that “EACA and its agency members all recognise that independent media auditing, and the assessment of agency performance, are both important and complex, and that advertisers can benefit greatly from additional third-party advice. It is in this spirit that these guidelines were created.”

The ‘Media Auditing Guidelines’ cover the following topics:

  1. Consistent and evidenced capabilities: media auditors’ geographic footprint; demonstrated expertise.
  2. Confidentiality guarantees:  Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs); exclusive use of data for given project; data integrity and protection.
  3. Conflicts of interest: upfront disclosure; adequate business separation; objective remuneration models.
  4. Respect for agencies’ contractual obligations with media and technology suppliers
  5. Upfront alignment on timelines and scope: collaborative discussions considering impact of auditors’ requests on media agencies’ resources.
  6. Transparency on auditors’ calculations and fairness in comparing datasets
  7. Transparency to advertisers and agencies on pool composition: to ensure relevant and robust benchmarks for advertisers.
  8. Fair pitch process, with clear, relevant, and transparent pitch pricing templates

Johan Boserup, Chair of the EACA Media Agency Council and Global CEO of Investment at OMG noted that: “media auditing has become a critical element of the client/agency relationship, and as the field of media auditors in the market has expanded, we need to ensure alignment and transparency in the working relations with auditors, agencies and advertisers. We believe that the “Media Auditing Guidelines” are a good and constructive step in that direction for our industry.”

Balazs Kaposi, Global Head of Investment at Dentsu, added: “as the industry evolves, so does the need for more sophisticated measurement processes, and advertisers are expecting their partners to provide them with the appropriate insight and guidance for their investment decisions.”

Rob Hill, Global Value Management Lead at Publicis Media said: “Publicis fully support these guidelines which are designed to improve procedures, accountability, and the overall worth of the analysis”.

Anna Arcarons Carbonell, Managing Partner Global Investment at Havas: “Havas Media fully embrace these guidelines that will serve as a key point of reference to the industry as this strives for higher transparency and better efficiency in audit and tender processes.”

Kevin Longhurst, Head of MAGNA EMEA said that “Mediabrands are fully committed to the creation of these guidelines that will enable the industry to collectively shine a greater light on the transparency of the media auditing process.”