The Association of National Advertisers issued a statement today walking back implications from a controversial presentation at its Media Leadership Conference last week regarding widespread agency rebates in the U.S.
"While the ANA cannot specifically identify the breadth and scope of such practices, we regret any impression that agencies in general are engaged in questionable activities and apologize to those who were offended," the group said in a statement. "It was certainly never the intent of the ANA to make any sweeping statements of widespread agency participation in any questionable practices."
Bill Duggan, ANA group exec VP, said the talk had spurred further discussions with the 4A's, the main association of ad agencies. And while he said it wasn't the ANA's intention to accuse all agencies, the group also isn't planning to back down from efforts begun in 2013 to shine more light on the rebate issue in the U.S.
"It really wasn't until the presentation last week that we seemed to get the attention of the industry, as controversial as some thought it was," Mr. Duggan said. "So to some extent, our mission was accomplished."