CMOs need to take ‘accountability’ for agency transparency says Virgin marketing boss

Chief marketing officers need to be accountable for their own agencies and put the “right conversations” in place around transparency, Virgin Australia’s chief marketing officer Inese Kingsmill has said.

Commenting on the industry issue of transparency, Kingsmill told the audience at Mumbrella’s Travel Marketing Summit yesterday it is the advertiser’s responsibility to ensure transparency occurs across each of their agencies.

Kingsmill at Mumbrella’s Travel Marketing Summit yesterday.

“As far as media transparency is concerned, this has been an issue in the industry for some time, and it’s a very complex issue and a broad industry topic that spans advertisers as much as agencies and media owners,” she said.

“What I would say to advertisers in the room is that my personal belief is it’s our responsibility to be having the right conversations with our agencies and putting in the right agreements and conditions in place to monitor and manage.

“The AANA has tremendous resources, they have an outline of contracts with media agencies, they also have guidelines that go along with it.

“It’s something the CMO needs to take accountability with, with their own agencies,” she said.

Kingsmill’s comments follow on from a brand safety debate across YouTube and Facebook which has furthered a wider transparency debate around client-media agency transparency following the ANA report in the US which came out just over a year after an audit in Australia revealed that one of the country’s largest media agencies, Mediacom, had faked campaign reports for its biggest clients, and had sold back to clients free air time given to it by TV stations.

Kingsmill said Virgin Australia was having ongoing conversations with its partners about the issue.

Commenting on the current programmatic debate surrounding YouTube and Facebook, Kingsmill told the audience while she respects the stance of advertisers, Virgin Australia will, for the time being, stay its course.

“From our perspective I totally respect the stance that a number of large advertisers have taken by withdrawing their support from Google and Facebook for the time being,” she said.

“For us, our performance media is performing very well. It’s very much a watching brief so we continue to maintain an outlook on that and will monitor it but at this point in time, we are staying our course.”

The issue of transparency will be tackled at Mumbrella360. Over June 7 and 8, key aspects of the media transparency debate will be discussed across a variety of panels. For more details on the program and to buy tickets click here.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.