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| 1 minute read

A Courageous Voice for Brands and Agencies

I've worked as a lawyer in the advertising and marketing industry for nearly fifty years. I've seen it grow from true partnerships between brands and their agencies with constant focus on creative and reaching the right consumers with the right message to an atmosphere plagued with distrust, deception, and, at times, delusion. As the economics tighten and the media landscape continues to explode, particularly with the Internet and now programmatic, the industry is on a spiral downward. What used to be three page media buying contracts have grown to forty pages or more. Trust has eroded as margins tighten with brands pushing agency compensation down. In response, agencies find inventive, ways to ensure their shareholders see a healthy return on their investments. Hopefully change will be precipitated by the industry itself. It would indeed be unfortunate if legislation and regulation became the overseer. That would result in confusion and unnecessary expenses at the cost of growth.

Occasionally. I read a voice in the industry that calls out for much needed change. That takes a lot of courage. So kudos to Arielle Garcia, former Chief Privacy & Responsibility Officer of UM Worldwide, for a provocative but thoroughly honest assessment and call to action. I hope everyone takes the time to read it.

Platform changes begot workarounds. Regulations codified loopholes. Brands invested in solutions with expiration dates. The trust deficit grew. Those most vocal about their focus on privacy, ethics, transparency and transformation were often the most desperate to sustain the status quo behind closed doors – lobbying against laws and standards that deliver against consumer expectations and advertiser interests, shrouding their practices in doublespeak.


media buying, transparency, privacy, regulation, self-regulation, growth, entertainment & media, supply chain, arielle garcia