The IPA has today (25 May 2018) expressed great concern in reaction to the announcement that media audit provider Accenture plans to provide programmatic media buying services to advertisers.
Accenture’s intention to broaden its advertising service offering to include media planning and buying services in competition with media agencies and at the same time providing media auditing, evaluation and pitch management services is a direct conflict of interest.
Dismissing claims that the consultancy will operate internal cross-departmental confidentiality, the IPA has described Accenture’s new business as incompatible with its legacy role as media auditor.
Says Paul Bainsfair, Director General, IPA: "As well as compromising impartiality, no business can legitimately offer competing media services to a market where it has a media auditor’s access to confidential client and agency media data and financial information. In an era where transparency is under the spotlight, this self-evident conflict of interest is unacceptable.”
The IPA is in dialogue with advertiser body ISBA about this development, particularly as the two organisations are exploring a Media Auditor Code of Conduct.