ID Comms, a media and advertising consultant, recently released its 2018 Media Transparency Report. While the Report indicates that the advertising industry is hopeful that trust and transparency may improve down the road, it paints a rather bleak view of the current state of affairs.

Highlights from the Report include that about 40% of respondents feel the level of trust that currently exists between advertisers and media agencies is low, an increase from the 29% of respondents in ID Comms’ 2016 Report. In terms of trust, both agencies (75%) and advertisers (80%) feel that transparency influences the level of trust in advertiser-agency relationships. Significantly, the number of agencies that believe transparency influences trust tripled from 2016 to 2018.

Something that has not changed since 2016 is the four areas of transparency that most influence trust and how an agency (1) deals with rebates and AVBs, (2) makes money, (3) trades with media vendors, and (4) structures group buying/share deals. The Report also reveals that advertisers care less in 2018 than they did in 2016 about how agencies provide access to innovation and thought leadership.

Of course, a media transparency study would not be complete without covering client data. Perhaps not surprisingly, management of client data saw an increase in importance with advertisers in 2018 versus 2016.

For the Report, ID Comms received 232 responses that represented a range of industries with a collective global media investment of over $25 billion.