4A's doubles down on adland's transparency issues

CEO Nancy Hill to agencies: Follow code of conduct or risk losing your membership

Ahead of Advertising Week next week, the 4A’s has announced two new initiatives around an issue that continues to plague the advertising industry—transparency. 

In an email sent today to all 4A’s members, Nancy Hill, president and CEO of the 4A’s, made it known that the recommendations set forth in the 4A’s "Transparency Guiding Principles of Conduct" (TPGC) report are now mandatory.  And, in order for members to understand and implement the rules, a series of informational sessions will be held across the country.

The 4A’s first released the TPGC at the end of January as a way to encourage members to establish trust in the agency and client relationship by following nine guiding principles. The report focuses on media planning and buying, commercial relationships and industry laws and regulations, including rules about rebates.

"At the 4A's Board of Directors meeting last week, the Board unanimously voted to elevate the TGPC from a recommendation to a practice standard for membership," wrote Hill.

Members must abide by the transparency rules in order to remain in good standing within the association.

"Clear and willful violations of the TGPC may be referred to the Board of Directors of the 4A's for appropriate action, including possible annulment of membership," wrote Hill.

Last week, the 4A’s launched a series of member meetings that will be held in cities across the country, including San Francisco, Dallas and Chicago. These are meant to discuss the mandatory principles and best practices moving forward.

Hill wrote that the 4A’s sees transparency as the "cornerstone" of good business. "Trust and respect is indispensable to success in our business where relationships must be based on good faith."

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