Mandel on Media Kickbacks: Newspaper Industry Suffered From Being Clean

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Former MediaCom CEO Jon Mandel keeps elaborating on his allegation last week that many U.S. media agencies take secret rebates from media sellers without telling their clients. (It's an allegation that at least one major media-agency leader has denied and has even been soft-pedaled by the ANA, at whose conference Mr. Mandel spoke.) In an interview with TV Week's Chuck Ross, Mr. Mandel said a lack of kickbacks from newspapers were perhaps one reason for that industry's suffering:

Newspapers are probably the cleanest category. As someone who is not in the newspaper business argued, that's probably part of the reason newspapers are dying. It's not just a leadership issue.

He also said the problem started growing as employees who worked overseas, where rebates are often totally fine with clients, came to work U.S. positions:

... I saw people being moved to what I'll call 'trading positions' here in the U.S. from overseas, where this was running rampant.

I've always been pretty good at calling a market, and I called the market as this was going to be something that I didn't want to be a party to, because of the way I was brought up and my ethical and moral compass. I didn't want to be sucked into this vortex of bad stuff, so I decided to get the hell out of Dodge.

To read the complete TV Week report, click here.

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