ISBA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
INSIGHTS & ACTIONS
KEY TAKEAWAYS & LEARNINGS FROM ISBA’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON 08 MARCH
FUTURE INSPIRATION IMPACT NOW
ISBA’s 29th annual conference took place last week and was attended by over 300 people including CMOs and marketing directors from member organisations, agency heads and members of media owners’ commercial teams. Proceedings were kicked off by new ISBA Director General Phil Smith who told delegates: “The biggest and most immediate challenges are in media,” referring to recent headlines about brands funding terror and warnings by Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of P&G on the negative effects of digital media opacity on advertising. “The time to act is now,” Smith said, “and the need is to act together,” pledging ISBA’s intention to lead advertiser action. “Advertisers must take the lead,” he said, “and ISBA has a key role. But we cannot act alone. “ He added: “Our enemies are not each other, but apathy and a failure to lift our sights from the demands of the day job.” You can see his speech here, as well as view the agenda and a list of speakers. The media challenges are reflected in many dimensions, from trust and transparency to data and new technology. The following is a summary of the day, grouped by theme rather than individual sessions. They represent the key points made by contributors, individually and collectively, throughout the day. They do not necessarily represent the views of ISBA or a consensus. Each theme includes a section on the commitments and actions ISBA will be taking in response to the issues raised.
TRANSPARENCY & TRUST •
Bad ads and placement undermine consumer trust, and bad practices by agencies and publishers undermine advertiser trust. Placing the consumer at the heart of the process, and agencies acting in the interests of the advertiser, rather than their own, will lead to more transparency and rebuild trust. Transparency is the key building block to trust.
FAKE NEWS MAY DRIVE CONSUMERS AND ADVERTISERS BACK TO PREMIUM CONTENT, BUT PUBLISHERS NEED TO DO MORE TO CONVINCE ADVERTISERS OF ITS VALUE.
The industry - advertisers, agencies, media owners and tech platforms needs to work together and do it what ‘should’, not what it ‘can’.
Trust between advertisers and agencies is broken when there is a lack of knowledge on both sides. Education is vital.
In the short term, mistrust leads to cynicism. In the long term, CEOs and CFOs will lose confidence in advertising.
A fairer value exchange (particularly between advertisers and media agencies) is vital towards rebuilding trust. Fault may lie on both sides: advertisers suffer because they get what they ask for, while agencies have focused on price and failed to explain the true costs of servicing digital.
Remuneration that is fair and recognises value, and contracts (preferably longer than three years) that allow genuine partnership, will drive more transparent behaviour and help rebuild trust.
Good contracts are at the heart of transparency and trust.
ISBA’s contractual Media Services Framework Agreement is a critical part of rebuilding trust between advertisers and media agencies.
To date, 20 ISBA members representing £3.3b of spend, have used all or part of it, and four agencies have signed up to use it. It has also been adopted by US and Australian advertiser trade bodies.
Contracts should build on the relationship, not vice versa. They need to be managed on an ongoing basis and hold both parties to account. They should not be designed solely to protect advertisers.
Contracts need to be flexible, and change when the advertisers’ needs change.
MARTIN BROMFIELD, VP ADVERTISING,