Would more regulation and laws similar to those in France improve media transparency in Australia? And, would you welcome them?
France has had a law in place since the 90s designed to ensure greater transparency, fewer kickbacks and rebates. It prevents agencies buying media in bulk in advance and reselling it to clients later − or acting as the principal.
The legislation, Loi Sapin, means agencies can only act as agents for clients, and can only be paid by advertisers. Earlier this year it was extended to cover digital media − something it hadn’t covered previously. The law will come into effect next year. And it’s a big deal.
Programmatic Media director Stephen Wright:
“The new law ensuring disclosure will undoubtedly serve as a deterrent, but whether this will eradicate excessive margins and mark−ups is a far more complex issue.”
Slingshot Media CEO Simon Rutherford:
“I don’t want to work in an industry that is heavily regulated, but it might be the kick in the pants the industry needs.”
The simple answer to the two−part question is an emphatic “yes” and “yes”. However, there are serious doubts being expressed in the French media as to how effective the legislation will be when it’s introduced (in January 2018).
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