The Conflict (Of Interest) Continues...
This debate has been raging ever since media holding-companies started developing internal digital media trading desks. The short of it is that if a media holding-company owns both an agency (or agencies) AND a media trading desk, and media planners at the internal agencies are incented to give business to their sibling companies, then doesn't this represent a conflict of interest as the agency is theoretically beholden to the client to find the most efficient media buying solution and not just one that benefits the agency?
Triggit CEO, Zach Coelius finds himself in the middle of a heated debate with some of those in the industry that would rather he not be discussing this conflict as publicly as he is. The truth is, however, that it is a discussion well worth having within the online advertising world and I lend my voice (as both an individual and as the head of marketing for an ad network with a definite 'horse in this race').
Bottom line: Clients should know whether their agency's loyalty lies with them or with the agency's parent company.