Advertising's Rebate Fight

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The ad industry has been in a cold war with itself since March 2015, when a former media agency CEO named Jon Mandel told a conference of advertisers that they weren't getting the full story. Media agencies "are not transparent about their actions," Mr. Mandel told the Association of National Advertisers Media Leadership Conference in Hollywood, Fla. "They recommend or implement media that is off-strategy or off-target if it works for their financial gain."

He described a system of incentives for media agencies that steer their clients toward certain tech vendors or media plans without telling their marketer clients, much less passing the benefits along. Agencies quickly said no such thing was happening in the United States, but the ANA began an investigation. Here's the coverage you need to track the story as it continues to unfold, with the most recent news on top.

ANA Raises Rebate Ruckus, but Do Its Members Care?
by Jack Neff 06/13/2016

What Clients Should Know About the ANA's Media Transparency Report
Guest Column by Pile & Co.'s Meghan McDonnell and Dan Jeffries 06/08/2016

Q&A With Investigator Behind ANA Media Rebate Report
by Alexandra Bruell 06/07/2016

Agency Groups Attack ANA Report Alleging U.S. Rebate Collection
by Alexandra Bruell 06/07/2016

ANA's K2 Report: Evidence of 'Pervasive' Agency Rebate Collection
by Alexandra Bruell 06/07/2016

Holding Companies to ANA: Back Up Claims in Upcoming Rebates Report
by Alexandra Bruell 06/03/2016

Industry Braces for ANA Report Expected to Reveal Rebate Collection
by Alexandra Bruell 06/02/2016

Marketers Growing In-House Media Buying Capabilities Amid Transparency Concerns
by Alexandra Bruell 03/03/2016

Collaboration Between Trade Groups Hits Snag as 4A's Releases Transparency Code
by Alexandra Bruell 01/28/2016

Why Does the ANA Seem to Be Tip-Toeing Around the 4A's on Rebate Issue?
by Rance Crain 10/26/2015

ANA Hires Investigative Firms to Probe Agency Rebate Allegations Agencies
by Alexandra Bruell 10/20/2015

Ad Fraud, Rebates, Blocking Won't Rain on ANA's Parade
by Jack Neff 10/12/2015

Why the 4A's Has Formed Task Force On Media Rebates
Guest column by 4A's President-CEO Nancy Hill 06/18/2015

ANA Issues RFP For Consultant to Investigate Media Rebates
by Jack Neff 06/18/2015

Havas Says Its Contract Template Has Nothing to Do With Rebates; Some Vendors Aren't So Sure
by Alexandra Bruell 06/11/2015

Unprecedented Wave of Media Reviews Is Partly Driven by Rebate Debate
by Alexandra Bruell 06/01/2015

ANA Forum Shows Advertisers, Agencies Far Apart on U.S. Rebates
by Jack Neff 04/27/2015

ANA and 4A's Form Task Force in Wake of Rebate Controversy Media
by Jack Neff 04/24/2015

Agency Holding Company CEOs' Weeklong Chorus: No Inappropriate Rebates
by Alexandra Bruell 04/24/2015

How Marketers Can Make Sure They Get the Rebates They're Owed
Guest column by ANA General Counsel Douglas J. Wood 04/01/2015

Media-Agency Kickbacks. Yes, They're Real.
by Alexandra Bruell 03/23/2015

What Do You Think: Are Media-Agency Rebates and Kickbacks a Reality?
03/16/2015

ANA 'Regrets' Implication All U.S. Media Agencies Get Undisclosed Rebates
by Jack Neff 03/11/2015

Mandel on Media Kickbacks: Newspaper Industry Suffered From Being Clean
by Nat Ives 03/13/2015

GroupM Responds to Industry Rebate Allegations
by Alexandra Bruell 03/06/2015

Former Mediacom CEO Alleges Widespread U.S. Agency 'Kickbacks'
by Jack Neff 03/06/2015

ANA Concern Grows Over Media Transparency
by Jack Neff 05/19/2014

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