Bombshell: Former Major Media Agency CEO Says Kickbacks Totaling At Least $100 Million Are Pervasive Among U.S. Media Agencies. How This Became a Top Priority for the Association of National Advertisers. We Talk to a Source Who Says Yes, the Allegations Are True. And We Interview Jon Mandel, Who Gave the Blistering Presentation Last Week That Set Off this Bombshell. It’s a TVWeek Media Investigation

Mar 13, 2015  •  Post A Comment

The former CEO of a major media agency delivered a bombshell last week at the Association of National Advertisers Media Leadership Conference. To read this important story, please click here.


  1. People who live in Glass Houses should not throw stones.
    There are variations of this theme from the first day advertising began. I hope he enjoyed all the perks Buyers received as did their clients from their vendors.
    Discounts, kickbacks, credits, merchandising, call it what you may, he was a part of this world.

  2. Are you saying that people who work for large companies where there is a lot of money involved have been involved in shady dealings designed to get more money into their pockets? NO! That could never happen in the US of A. Oh, wait….

    Does the word “pervasive” mean anything to you?

  3. Reminds me of the good old day when I worked in radio and the “payola” and “plugola” rules came into being.

  4. Maybe some make deals, but most agencies have a client who actually watches the payments and if a client agrees to a media buy and the medium (tv radio, print) seller agrees to a commission back to the buyer (10-15%) there is nothing wrong with that. The client could not get the rates the media buyer can so in the end, the model makes sense. Now, if a client spends millions on a buy and the media buyer doesn’t spend the money but claims they did, then that is fraud, but it really comes down to the client making sure the media company (ad agency) they hire spends what they say they need. Simple. Most agencies are not on the take. In fact, many agencies can’t the money from the client after the client agreed to the buy. Trust me.

  5. Not much reason for the article after that headline. Could have just said something like “Kickbacks Exceeding $100 million Alleged at Media Agencies.”

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