A New Form of Agency Transparency


Simon Francis

In recent times marketers and their procurement partners have become increasingly concerned about Agency transparency. And, not without reason in some instances. In addition, trade bodies and “noisy” consultants have made a lot of out of agency malpractice.

Transparency still ranks highly amongst advertiser concerns during panels at ANA Financial, WFA Forums, and Procurecon Marketing Events.

Similarly, there have been hundreds of articles published in the last 12 months alone via industry press.

So, Transparency may remain a talking point, but most sophisticated advertisers have put in place great contracts, audits, and commercial policies (including in-housing some contracts and sensitive functions/scopes) to mitigate against risk. And, many agency groups, trade bodies, and inspirational leaders are looking to change the model and rebuild transparency and trust.

At Flock we are still helping many advertisers and their agencies find greater commercial transparency and upgrade their commercial relationships, there is a new form of transparency that we are advocating strongly for. Whilst at Flock we are experts in knowing how agencies make money (we’ve run many media and creative agencies), we are also expert in delivering great work as agency practitioners, and as consultants to hundreds of advertisers and their agencies. It’s the transparency about how to deliver great work that we feel is the New Form of Transparency.

The New Form of Transparency is far more beneficial to the advertiser and agency relationship, builds trust and confidence faster, and delivers greater work, than the contracts and audits etc.

The New Form of Transparency is a clear mutual assessment of capabilities, outputs and outcomes. A simple clear and well-articulated ‘Joined Up Business Plan’ that itemises how the relationship will grow and the actions to be taken, and the means to measure success.

Try answering the following questions to see if you have in place a plan to deliver the New Form of Transparency:

  1. I understand how each my agencies are performing in detail
  2. I know the issues and opportunities that my agencies have
  3. We have a Joined-Up Business Plan that shows the detailed steps that the advertiser and agency will take to improve the work output, and outcomes
  4. I have a means to track the plan & evolve it
  5. We have an Issue Resolution Protocol that logs and tracks issues and solutions
  6. We have a governance plan that manages the Joined-Up Business Plan

If you would like to know more about how to create better work, more trust, and build a new form of transparent relationship, or if you’d like to know more about the role of our tools (Agency Appraisal Tool, Agency Scoping Tool) to drive transparency, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ve some interesting case histories to share!