MediaCom audit findings delayed

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 13 January 2015

It's not an easy start to the year for MediaCom as it faces the ongoing investigation into the alleged overcharging, or misreporting, of TV audiences that erupted at the end of 2014. The findings of the EY (Ernst and Young) audit are not going to be finalised this week as expected.

All industry eyes are on MediaCom and the independent audit into the reporting of post-buying TV TARPs. It was originally thought to be due in mid-January, but AdNews can reveal the findings will be delayed by a number of weeks as auditors slog though.

A report is now expected towards the end of January or beginning of February, MediaCom confirmed to AdNews.

GroupM chairman John Steedman told AdNews that it's an “in depth exercise” and is taking longer than anticipated, adding that it's important that it is done in the right way.

The delay is also a result of the Christmas break. The auditors are not understood to have been active through the Christmas break, and MediaCom CEO Mark Pejic remains on summer break until next week.

Steedman said: “Towards the end of the month we will know more, but we want it to be thoroughly done – that's what we're paying them [EY] for.”

The delay is not at this point thought to suggest that additional issues have been identified with other aspects of MediaCom's client reporting or other clients.

Three MediaCom clients, Foxtel, IAG and Yum!Brands were identified as having "irregularities" on their accounts.

The EY review also includes GroupM agencies Maxus, Mindshare and MEC - although GroupM stated last year that it was confident the issue was contained to a few clients within MediaCom Sydney.

Foxtel's separate independent review, which is also being funded by GroupM, is being carried out by PwC and the findings are also due in a matter of weeks. It's likely to be putting a serious dent on GroupM's coffers alongside the full review being carried out by EY.

The agency has already lost Foxtel as a client over the claims the agency made exagerated claims of TV audiences to a handful of clients, which emerged at the tail end of last year and resulted in Foxtel switching to GroupM stablemate Mindshare. It is so far the only client known to have taken its business out of MediaCom as a result. More could follow although the majority of clients spoken to by AdNews since the details emerged have outlined their plans to stick by the agency - at least until the results of the audit are known.

Ed Smith, Foxtel marketing director, declined to comment on either audit at this point, but said that he is more than happy with the way the account is being handled by Mindshare.

Recap the MediaCom story from last year:
MediaCom exits linked to Foxtel and KFC overcharging
Foxtel moves account from MediaCom to MindshareRogue traders: how MediaCom’s dynamite exploded MediaCom: What now - will a raft of agency audits kick off?
The media's responsibility around MediaCom

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at rosiebaker@yaffa.com.au

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day. Need a job? Visit adnewsjobs.com.au.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at rosiebaker@yaffa.com.au

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day. Need a job? Visit adnewsjobs.com.au.

Read more about these related brands, agencies and people

comments powered by Disqus