NEWS5 February 2020

Accenture shuts media auditing business

Media News North America UK

UK/US – Management consultancy Accenture is to close its media auditing arm by the end of August.

accenture office

Accenture has faced questions over whether its Media Management business, which conducts performance audits and evaluation of media agencies, presents a conflict with Accenture Interactive, the company’s digital advertising business.

The Media Management arm audits over $40bn of global advertising spend and invests $5m in media research annually, according to the website.

Accenture has acquired a number of advertising agencies in recent years, including Droga5, and in 2018 it launched an in-house programmatic media planning and buying unit.

The company confirmed the closure in an emailed statement, but did not give a reason, saying: “Accenture has decided to ramp down the area of its business that performs media auditing, benchmarking and agency pitch services by the end of August.”

Accenture said it will work with clients to “fulfil existing commitments and support their transitions” as part of the plan. 

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) supported the move but called for the introduction of a code of conduct for media auditors.

Paul Bainsfair, director general, said: “We are pleased that Accenture is to disband this side of their business. We did inform them in 2018 that carrying out performance audits of media agencies whilst simultaneously competing with them to provide programmatic ad services to clients, seemed to present a clear conflict of interest and loss of impartiality.

“While this latest development is positive, the problem of media auditing best practice is not confined to Accenture. We think this might be a good opportunity to revisit the introduction of a Media Auditor Code of Conduct.”