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Ebiquity and WPP fall out over programmatic media buys

Untitled-2I hear that media auditor Ebiquity, helmed by GGT founder Mike Greenlees and former MGM media agency boss Nick Manning, has fallen out big time with WPP.

M’learned friends (lawyers) are being consulted, it seems.

The row relates, in part, to the current raft of media reviews – just about every big global advertiser is reviewing its media account – thanks to ‘revelations’ from former MediaCom exec Jon Mandel, that some big media rebates are going back to the agency not the client.

Ebiquity, which now employs around 800 people worldwide, is one of those companies – others include Accenture – which advises clients on their media deals.

How this rebate issue escaped the attention of all these parties (many of whom are former media traders) remains something of a mystery.

But we are where we are. And Ebiquity has supposedly advised clients not to sign up for agency ‘programmatic’ digital media buying deals, on the grounds that the difference between the price the agency is buying and the price it’s selling is unclear.

Which jeopardises a nice new source of marcoms company revenue.

Some time or other the world’s giant media buyers are going to have to come clean and say they’re buying the stuff and selling it on to clients – media broking.

But that’s a way ahead. In the meantime all the parties are, as Thomas Aquinas put it, ‘dancing on a pinhead.’

Update

A WPP source tells me they don’t don’t know anything about this, although it’s a current source of media gossip. We’ll keep you posted.

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