Here is a list of the kind of media rebates ad agencies were caught taking in the past

Advertising agencies expressed outrage today at a report into the way they allegedly took rebates from the media companies where they place ads.

An investigation by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) published Tuesday alleged agencies are routinely taking hidden cash and credit deals, and other non-transparent practices.

The rebates are “pervasive” in the US ad-buying system, the ANA says, despite ad agency groups persistently denying they happen.

The 4A’s (the ad agency lobby group) said the report was unfair: “The immense shortcomings of the … report released today — anonymous, inconclusive, and one-sided — undercut the integrity of its findings.”

But neither advertisers nor their agencies should be too surprised by these allegations, as there is a long public record of ad agencies that were caught engaging in similar behaviour.

Here’s a selection of them:

Why bring this up now, when these are all old, long-settled cases? Well, until today ad agencies had always argued that these cases were the lone bad apples in the barrel.

The ANA report suggests it’s worse than that.

If you have evidence of kickbacks or non-transparent volume discount rebate schemes in the ad business, please email Business Insider’s advertising editor, Lara O’Reilly, in confidence, at [email protected] We’d love to tell your story.

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