Vineet Mehra

Matt Green

Matt Green

Marketing and Technology


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Trendsetters: More Multinationals are Using Independent Media Auditors says Matt Green of WFA

According to a new report from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), major multinationals are using an expanding array of services from independent media advisors to support their media management challenges. "Advisors are now helping to set long-term strategy for media management, evolve marketing organizations, hire agencies, access talent, and even set KPIs," says Matt Green, Global Lead, Media & Digital, at the WFA. He is responsible for providing analysis, perspectives, education and solutions to WFA's 150 members.

He continues, "Media management is a complex art and many multinational marketers use advisors to help them navigate a constantly changing ecosystem. The role that advisors play has become wider and more sophisticated as marketers seek to maximize the value of their media activity and align their external partners with their business goals."

In fact, multinational companies are now adopting services beyond auditing as the role of the independent media advisor evolves and expands.  The WFA studyfound that many marketers are looking for more than just "classic price auditing," which involves comparing the price they pay with an anonymous "pool" based on group of advertisers.  The WFA's Green states: "There appears to be some frustration with the rigidity of the pool-based approach.  Yet, attempts to create new forms of value-based assessment for digital are clearly not as successful and more work needs to be done to give advertisers reassurance that they are paying the right prices in a biddable media landscape."

Based on a survey of 56 advertisers, representing companies with more than $90bn in annual marketing expenditure, as well as input from all media agency groups and most advisor companies, the WFA Media Advisory Study found that 9 out of 10 advertiser respondents used media auditing and price benchmarking services.  However, many were adamant that the current measurement approach needed to change. There was strong agreement from client-side marketers (73% agree), agencies (92%) and advisors (87%) that the industry needs to move away from outmoded media price judgments to focus on value-based assessments

Advertisers did identify new areas for growth in the media advisory sector, with digital at the forefront. Programmatic evaluations were the main priority, identified by 86% of respondents as being "more important."  The study also pointed to how media analytics and consultancy-level services will also be more in demand-- with technology selection and implementation being "more important" for at least 60% of client respondents. 

Reflecting the desire of many multinationals to "transform" their marketing departments, other areas where advisors have been playing a key role include internal organizational design for media, plus external agency ecosystem design. However, given the dramatic increase of pitches over the past few years, these are not areas where clients see increased need in the future. Interestingly, 60% of clients forecast ‘no change' to the use of these services from advisors.

Other key findings include:

  • 81% of advertiser respondents use auditing services routinely or permanently, and 68% agree that auditing has been instrumental in reducing prices and extracting greater value from media. Seventy percent agree that auditing is an indispensable means of establishing an objective view of media value. Ebiquity is the most-used advisor in this space, cited by 58% of respondents, with Accenture Media Management as second, used by 38%. 
  • 75% of respondents now use independent advisors for contract compliance auditing and verification. FirmDecisions (part of Ebiquity) and Ebiquity are used by 53% of respondents; Accenture by 19%.
  • 59% of respondents have used independent advisors for media consulting, but this remains a new area: 
    • The largest share (61%) do this occasionally/sporadically
    • Just 18% do this routinely
    • 14% use their agencies/other suppliers for similar services
    • 20% do this themselves
    • 7% don't do this at all 

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) champions responsible and effective marketing communications worldwide. Members include a unique global network of the world's biggest markets and the world's biggest multinational marketers. More information at