Mark Ritson: Advertisers duped in this dark age of kickbacks for media agencies

Mark RItson (1).jpg
By Mark Ritson

Transparent: an adjective, from the medieval Latin word for something that allows the passage of light, thereby allowing other objects to be seen clearly through it. In modern parlance, transparency has become far more popular as a term applied to a person or an organisation that is open and honest about its activities. The antonym of transparent is secret or opaque; when we cannot see what is going on.

In media circles there is no more popular word these days. We use it, and usually abuse it, because for the past decade working out exactly what is going on has become ever more difficult. How many people could see that ad? What proportion then watched it? Who was paid what for creating it? Simple questions to which we should know the answers have become entirely, and quite deliberately, difficult to ascertain.

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