AICE Campaign To Raise Post Production Transparency At Conference

AICE Campaign To Raise Post Production Transparency  At Conference

Attendees arriving at the 2016 ANA Masters of Marketing Conference, which kicks off Oct. 19 in Orlando, will find something a little different in the bags they get when they pick up their credentials. In addition to promotional giveaways, sponsor literature and event publications will be a clear, acetate post card that basically says, ‘Remember that transparency debate? It ain’t over.’

The postcard was prepared by AICE (, the North American post production trade association, and was created to raise awareness of what it feels are troubling business practices that agencies and holding companies are resorting to in order to keep brands’ production and post work in-house.

Using type that appears printed within the outlines of a small house, the card asks marketers to ponder questions like:

▪ “Is in-house actually better? Faster? Cheaper?”

▪ “Are project bids being rigged to keep them in-house?”

▪ “Does your agency have to meet a financial quota set by their holding company?”

▪ “Are department heads getting big bonuses for going in-house?”

The communications is part of an ongoing campaign on the part of AICE to make marketers aware that they may not be getting the best deal for their dollar when their agency handles their work in-house, as opposed to opening it up for a fair and transparent bidding process among independent post production vendors.

“Our members are continuing to hear about instances of holding companies mandating that client work go through their respective agencies’ in-house units, regardless if it’s the best solution for the project,” says AICE Executive Director Rachelle Madden.

“Often CMOs or Brand Managers are totally unaware that they could be getting better work at the same cost if they used the independent companies that have handled their brands for years,” Madden continues. “This is really intended to get them to ask ques-tions of their agencies about the post production process and evaluate in a critical way just what they’re getting for their money.”

AICE’s concerns are fully stated in a policy statement published on their web site titled “In House Post Production: A Push for Greater Transparency, Fairness and Ethics ( It raises other issues as well, such as agencies’ request for bogus bids from independent post houses in order to satisfy client demands for mul-tiple bids, or their ability to manipulate outside bids in order to make their in-house bids more attractive.

The policy statement goes on to offer recommendations for ways marketers can insure more transparency when it comes to how their production and post production money is being spent, and offers a series of questions they should raise with their agencies in or-der to be fully informed about the respective agencies’ internal business practices.

“In-house has been around for years, but the scope and nature of it have changed to the point where it’s threatening the future of our independent companies,” says Madden. “AICE members have historically gone above and beyond in their effort to serve not just their agency clients, but those agencies’ marketer clients as well. That capability is jeopardized by the current direction of in-house business practices. We don’t expect in-house facilities to go away; but we are determined to make marketers aware of the is-sues impacting fairness and transparency in the current environment.