The media agency world, and its relationship with its advertiser clients is in a far better place than it was before the issue of transparency burst upon the scene back in 2015.

But – and it’s a very big but – here at the7stars we do not think it is good enough to believe that the transparency question is answered by sticking religiously to a clause in a contract. Within the media world, ‘transparent’ is a word whose meaning has shrunk.

We believe there is another layer to transparency – not just in the buying process but in everything that leads up to the buy. We believe in the principle of clarity, in providing impartial advice across everything we do in planning, buying and evaluating campaigns on behalf of our clients. We call this ‘neutrality’.

This month we released our white paper, “From Transparency to Neutrality: From Single to Double-Glazing. Why Transparency in Media Dealing Isn’t Clear”. You can read the full version here.

We believe that transparency (as often defined) is over-rated, and that clients deserve more. They have every right to expect agencies to be neutral in everything we do.

The art of planning should come from a neutral perspective with no preconceived rules as to which media channel will do the best job or how best to use it, and channel selection based on what will deliver the brief in the most effective way.

Neutrality equally runs through the decision-making process when it comes to partnering with specialist services such as research, data analytics, technology and tools. Our first question when approached by any vendor is ‘what will this do for my clients?’.

We use tools and techniques that meet our requirements of true objectivity and usability. Maintaining a neutral position throughout the process is the only way to ensure true transparency and deliver the best results.

Finally, we apply this thinking to how we evaluate results. Working with PwC we will be launching a new auditing framework built around evidencing effective neutral planning, to be released in March 2020.

Neutrality is true, double-glazed transparency. Every client has every right to expect it from their appointed media agency.

The topic of transparency and neutrality will no doubt continue to evolve as advertisers become attune to its importance, especially when it comes to effectiveness of their media campaigns, and overall business success. At the7stars we will continue to talk about its benefits and the important role it plays in our industry’s future long-term success.