Publisher Accuses Ad Agencies Of Routinely Taking Bribes

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Photo: Business Insider / Daniel Goodman

Ad agencies who buy media on web sites routinely ask for unwarranted gifts, according to an anonymous publisher interviewed by Digiday.Bribes, kickbacks, gift-giving, rebates and volume discount schemes are a common part of how deals in advertising get done. Yet few in the business are willing to admit it on the record. We’ve covered a number of cases — at Aegis’s Posterscope unit and at Walmart, to name two — but the media is usually disinterested in the issue.

Digiday’s source, however,is plainly sick of the way ad buyers ask publishers to sprinkle a little sugar on their offers. Here’s what he or she said:

It might be because they are lazy or ill-informed about the client’s business or mistreated by the client or all of the above, but it happens more than it should, and it’s a huge shame. … the willingness to be bought (jeans parties, Southampton parties, concert tickets, whatever),

[Agency staff] don’t return calls, don’t give meaningful feedback, [arrive] late to meetings, [act] unprofessional, abuse relationships by asking for stuff that far exceeds reasonable T&E spending.

Here’s some of our previous coverage of ad agency shenanigans:

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