Accenture’s withdrawal from media auditing and management services
Alan Newman, Interim Group Chief Executive Officer
Friday, February 7, 2020
Earlier this week, Accenture announced that it will close its Media Auditing business in August 2020. This announcement has understandably attracted wide interest and comment in the media sector. As the leading global media measurement business, Ebiquity has respected Accenture as a competitor but welcomes this development while recognising that it may impact Accenture’s staff and clients in the short-term. Accenture has clearly seen a very large opportunity in developing its agency and marketing services business in competition with existing agencies but this has inevitably created an unresolvable conflict of interest for its media auditing business.
We have always believed that independence is a vital attribute for those who, like Ebiquity, help advertisers to measure, evaluate, drive accountability, and maximise returns from their marketing spend. As has been acknowledged in many industry forums, advertisers need unbiased, expert-led, data driven advice in order to ensure trust and transparency in a rapidly evolving media ecosystem. They also increasingly expect and deserve advisers and their agency and technology partners to adhere to well-defined, high ethical standards.
Media performance measurement, as we call media auditing in its broadest sense, is a specialist discipline that requires a specific skill set and remains a critical service for leading global brands to ensure value for money in their media spend. Ebiquity already works with many of the world’s leading advertisers and we are ready to extend our support to those national and global advertisers who currently work with Accenture. We also recognise that Accenture’s clients now have the chance to review their needs, assess the market, and find the best partners – and the right metrics and approaches – for their long term success. My colleagues and I around the world – market leaders and innovators in the field for more than 20 years – are on hand to offer friendly and impartial advice. As media fragments and grows in complexity, brands are increasingly turning to advisors who can draw insights across a wide range of areas and disciplines.
We continue to believe that for many advertisers, media measurement, based on real data and expert knowledge that enables advertisers to benchmark and track agency performance in depth, remains a core service. However, the ability to provide a multi-service offering to support the many and varied needs of global and local advertisers and to cover the expanding range of analogue and digital media types is also essential. With our recent acquisition of Digital Decisions and its pioneering source data monitoring service, we now assess more digital spend than any advisor, covering billions of impressions of digital data. Our contract compliance reviews through FirmDecisions, a global leader in its field, provide transparency into the digital supply chain at a granular level and we are the only independent advisors that can assess the efficiency of digital spend. Our analytics team are experts in analysing media outcomes and effectiveness – through market mix modelling and test-and-learn programmes – and in helping advertisers to achieve greater ROI. Our media management and technology advisory services support brand owners through all stages of the media management life-cycle, from planning and managing agency selection, through to media organisation design, large scale digital transformation and, in-housing of programmatic services.
We don’t believe that it is helpful to caricature media measurement with a false dichotomy between legacy metrics and new media metrics. Rather we believe in using data and developing metrics that are relevant and meaningful for our clients’ individual situations. Our strength remains our ability to provide breadth of expertise on a global basis, all under one roof.
Change – particularly when forced from outside – can be challenging. But it also offers opportunities for long-term growth and innovation. We at Ebiquity are on hand to help and advise clients to grasp these opportunities.