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Mediacom audit: Marketers seek compensation as IAG ‘reviews options’ on account

Merrick

Merrick

Two of the clients who had their campaigns misreported to them by Mediacom staff are seeking compensation from the agency, with IAG indicating that it is “reviewing its options” on whether to take its business elsewhere.

The third affected client, Foxtel, has already fired Mediacom, shifting its business to fellow GroupM agency Mindshare.

The trio were affected by staff at the GroupM agency altering client targets around how many people a TV campaign should reach, to match the actual audience figures.

Jane Merrick, head of marketing for IAG, told Mumbrella: “This is something unprecedented, it hasn’t happened before. Everyone is pretty surprised and shocked around it.”

Merrick did not rule out firing the agency or pitching the account, saying: “There’s a number of different options we’re reviewing but I’m not in a position to confirm what those are. We’re working through the results of the audit to see where we go from here.”

Yum! Brands’ chief marketing officer Nikki Lawson said the company would stick with Mediacom, but stressed she felt she had been “disadvantaged” by the practices.

yum brandsLawson added: “We looked at whether we should be sending in our own auditors, but we were fairly comfortable they had their internal team and third party auditors as well.

“We’re fairly happy with the process that took place.”

Both marketers said they were satisfied with the way the investigation, which included an audit by external firm EY as well as GroupM’s own Regional Risk Management team, had been conducted.

IAGMerrick added: “I believe they have been transparent with us through this process. I believe they are putting the processes in place on the back of the EY recommendations to prevent this happening again.”

In depth:

Lawson said the scandal had highlighted issues the whole industry needs to deal with, adding: “A lot of the practices and processes are fairly common. It’s not like Mediacom had unique processes and things they work around, they’re part of a group and those processes are similar to other agencies outside that group as well.

“It’s a lot more complicated now than it was. I think clients need to make sure they have the right structures in place as well.”

Lawson added: “If people are feeling they can’t deliver our targets within the structure that’s there then there’s an onus managerially on clients and agencies to make sure it’s structured to work.”.

Alex Hayes

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