Office Assistant

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The Office Assistant is the front desk greeter and is responsible for welcoming our visitors and answering our main line, directing calls and taking messages. Most of the position covers office administration along with employee communications.

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Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit

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May 31 – June 2, 2017
Westin Kierland, Scottsdale, AZ

Mediasmith Founder & CEO Dave Smith will be participating in this gathering of the finest minds and marketers in programmatic media.

Wednesday, May 31, 1:45

Dave Smith is on stage for this live version of the Digiday “Confessions” series and will go on record about the state of digital media.

Mediasmith Recognized in Transparency Fight

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Volume 17, Issue 1

Dave Smith Receives Online Media All Star Award

Mediasmith is proud to highlight Dave Smith’s receipt of the MediaPost Online All Star award recognizing his many years of service to the industry. A key to the award was the position Mediasmith took this year relative to transparency in our Client Bill of Rights.

Through the Anvil, Mediasmith has tried to provide timely and thoughtful reflection and opinion on the issues that the media industry and marketers contend with in their daily work lives. Often, we have written with the intention of spurring a conversation about a single issue that the industry has had to struggle with. This practice has always elicited responses that enabled us to bring constituents together and foster healthy conversation on how a company could best serve marketers and advertisers. Thus, the Anvil has been part of our company model since the advent of digital content and marketing in the 1990s. Mediasmith used the arrival of new technology to the industry as a company-wide opportunity to have a strong voice on the what it meant to advertisers and marketers, and, not the least, our own company. As has become obvious to many in the community, Dave Smith has been our primary spokesperson since the beginning. And, in the beginning he was known as the guy who truly had the perspective on digital as it evolved, but also knew traditional media. To those we worked with in the traditional media space he was exactly the opposite, the guy who knew all the traditional media but was knowledgeable with regards to all things digital.

As mentioned above, one of the larger issues in the last year has been transparency. This came to a head last year with the ANA’s (Association of National Advertisers) issuance of two reports, one from K2 that summarized several issues related to kick-backs and arbitrage by media agencies and the holding company trading desks. The other was a report from Ebiquity and that report outlined best practices in transparency. The inconsistency between these reports and the 4A’s Transparency Guidelines led us to create our Client Bill of Rights, driven by our President, John Cate.  Mediasmith subsequently resigned from the 4A’s and joined the ANA.

Mediasmith Morsel

P&G’s Marck Pritchard on Transparency

At the recent IAB Leadership Meeting, P&G’s Mark Pritchard, who is also the Chairman of the ANA, laid down the gauntlet to the  industry on transparency. 2017 will be the year that P&G insists on viewability as table stakes for counting impressions, and full transparency throughout the ad tech ecosystem.

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On January 19, in New York City, Dave accepted the MediaPost Online All Star award recognizing his many years of service to the industry. This 2017 All Star Team includes industry leaders from Marketing, Media, and Creative. In the words of MediaPost, MediaPost’s “Online All Stars celebrates the stars in the online media, advertising and marketing industry, who have pushed the business to new levels of excellence through their outstanding achievements and thought leadership.”It was especially nice to get the kind words from MediaPost’s Joe Mandese in his January 8 article about the All Star Award for Dave Smith where he highlighted Dave’s contributions and Mediasmith’s resignation from the 4As and stand on transparency.

Joe wrote the following:

Recognitions like this frequently throw the word “pioneer” around. But when it comes to pioneering the field of digital media and especially online advertising, Dave Smith is one of the people who helped define it – and he’s still redefining it.

When he founded Mediasmith nearly three decades ago as a fiercely independent media services agency focused on leveraging new and emerging technologies, online advertising didn’t even exist.

And while bigger agencies take much of the credit for helping to shape it, Smith’s neutral, client-centric approach kept it honest and effective, ensuring that it works for the proper stakeholder: Not the agency, or the media, or the litany of ad technology middlemen that emerged over the next several decades, but the advertisers funding the entire food chain.

One of the original “Old Timers,” Smith has influenced the industry dialogue by expressing his views and living up to the principles he espouses.

So, it was not surprising when “transparency” hit the fan, following the Association of National Advertisers’ report and the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ tepid response, Smith pulled Mediasmith’s longtime membership from the ad agency trade group in deference to and support of advertisers.

While Mediasmith was not the first agency to do so, following Empower Media Marketing by a couple of months, it raised the bar when it did, issuing a “Client Bill of Rights,” publishing it for all to see, ideally to incorporate as its own.

The bill may seem to have been crafted as a response to the ANA’s report and own set of recommendations, but the principles precede the ANA initiative, going all the way back to Mediasmith’s roots.

“The 4As is fighting a battle that’s not our battle,” Smith asserted when he unveiled the bill last September. “It’s the battle of New York mega-agency companies. Our battle is to distance ourselves from those in the industry that are doing arbitrage, doing kickbacks, and literally putting it in writing to the tech companies on when and where to send the money.

“It comes down to whether your feel it’s the client’s money or not. We feel it’s the client’s.”


Mediasmith Morsel

Advertisers Looking at Agency Contracts for Transparency A study from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) – a trade body that represents brands such as P&G, L’Oréal, and Emirates – found that nearly 90% of the advertisers it polled are reviewing their programmatic advertising contracts and  demanding more control and transparency.

 Read the full Business Insider article



Marcus Pratt on stage at Upcoming ARF West Coast Conference November 2016

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“Panel Discussion: The Big Business of Mobile App Advertising”

Facebook HQ
1 Hacker Way
Menlo Park, California 94025

Monday-Tuesday, Novemebr 14 and 15, 2016

Marcus Pratt, VP Insights & Technologies, will be participating in this panel discussion addressing What’s driving mobile advertising revenues? It’s not your usual advertiser; it’s predominantly mobile app and game publishers driving app installations via the largest mobile advertising platforms: Facebook and Google. And because many mobile apps offer high consumer engagement — from messaging to chatbots to e-commerce, brands are also eying spend on mobile apps as part of their advertising mix. The metrics show a tough business, and perhaps tougher than most traditional advertisers are willing to tolerate. Publishers pay between $2 to $4 per app install and then watch that user slowly fade away 30 days post install. In this session, we’ll bring together a group of panelists to discuss if and the business of mobile app advertising will get even bigger.

Look for Marcus on Day One at 4:20 pm

More about the Summit

The Marketers’ Bill of Rights

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Volume 16, Issue 8

Marketers’ Bill of Rights

Why We Developed a Marketer’s Bill of Rights
by David L Smith and John Cate

As has been well reported, the advertising industry was rocked in late 2015 by allegations of improper actions being taken with advertiser dollars, especially (but not limited to) the media investments being handled by large multi-national/holding companies. 

This past June an investigation commissioned by the American Association of National Advertisers (ANA) validated much of what was a primary concern: agencies were not being fully transparent about the ways they were making money.

We’ve taken note of this.

As an independent media agency that has always aspired to the best practices in transparency (both relative to costs and data), we felt it was time to be clearly and publicly committed to a set of principles. Last month we issued a Client Bill of Rights as a set of promises to our current clients, and as an offering to prospective clients.  We shared the document as well with our friends and colleagues in the industry, and have been overwhelmed by the positive response.

While many in the industry are already running their businesses in the spirit of these principles, the K9 report from the ANA and subsequent Ebiquity best practice recommendations have made it increasingly apparent to us that not all in our industry are willing to run their companies in a fully transparent way. Even the 4A’s guidelines on transparency issued this year have a certain opaqueness to them. So while our Client Bill of Rights still stands in its purpose, we have decided to develop a companion Marketer Bill of Rights. 

This outward pivot of our client-facing set of principles is intended to be a helpful starting point for marketers and agencies in thinking about how they can define their relationships.

From the start of this effort, we have been clear that issues of transparency in cost and data in our industry are not easily solved. We are also not casting any specific allegations at any particular entity.  We’re only being very clear about how we do business and how many other transparent mid-major agencies do business too.

Our Marketer’s Bill of Rights are found here on our site, and are also listed below in this Anvil. We think this is an important time in our industry for all “agencies” to clearly define our businesses.

We thank Business Insider for their coverage of this effort in their October 6 issue.

Mediasmith Morsel

Bottom Line: What does the ANA/Ebiquity report say?

After reviewing the extensive content of the ANA/Ebiquity Report, Mike Drexler wrote an excellent article on “What the ANA Transparecy Report Really Tells US”. We thought you might find it helpful to review. Mike’s article first appeared July 28 in a Thought Leadership for Executives blog post on Media Village.

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Mediasmith is a transparent and full disclosure media agency.  We believe all Marketers have the following rights:
I.   Marketers have the right to unbiased media recommendations that are not influenced by their agency’s seller relationships.
Marketers come to agencies for their experience and media relationships but should expect agencies to view the media landscape objectively, and to provide media recommendations that are intended to build the marketer’s business, not the media sellers.
II.  Marketers have the right to expect agencies to be their buying agents, acting only in their best interests.
This is why agencies are called agencies, and where some are blurring their roles.
III. Marketers have the right to know that their buying agency does not also own or sell media.
No agency can own media and sell it without a conflict of interest.
IV. Marketers have the right to itemized invoices, including separation of agency fee from seller costs.
Marketers should know exactly what’s being paid for each component of media, and even be provided the actual seller invoices if wanted.  This is what’s really meant by transparency.
V.  Marketers Have the right to see all of their media performance data, and to know where all of their advertising runs.
Performance and insights are generated by the marketer’s investments. At minimum, they have the right to see all of the data generated from their campaigns. 
VI. Marketers have the right to receive and pay their own media invoices.
Most agencies plan to do vendor payment for their clients as a service, but with nothing to hide, they should gladly volunteer this option.
VII. Marketers have the right to own any rebates, discounts, or media value generated by their investments.
It’s the marketer’s money that earns this value, and they own it. Agencies should take their client’s lead on what to do with that money.
VIII. Marketers have the right to know all media technology costs.
Media technology costs should be just as transparent as media costs.
IX.  Marketers have the right to formally audit their agency’s finances as related to their media buys.
Agencies should welcome whatever their clients require to ensure trust. 
X.   Marketers have the right to know if their agency is subcontracting work and to whom.
Marketers should have the confidence that only agency employees or disclosed partners will be handling their money. The use of undisclosed sister company relationships and other outsourcing does not encourage transparency.
David L. Smith is CEO and Founder of Mediasmith. John Cate is President and COO of Mediasmith. 
Mediasmith Morsel

Data Ownership not Clear to Clients

While the ANA/Ebiquity report recommended advertiser data ownership relative to campaigns, it may not be practical to achieve right now. Our article, which ran in Digiday explores the issue.

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I-COM Global Summit 2016: Navigating the Programmatic TV Frontier

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Dave Smith recently traveled to Seville, Spain to participate in the I-COM 2016 data-centric conference. Here he is moderating the panel on the state of Programmatic TV in the US and abroad. The panel discussion included some industry heavy hitters.

David Moore – President WPP Digital & Chairman, Xaxis, WPP, USA
Chris O’Hara – Head of Global Data Strategy, Krux, USA
Lawrence Allen – VP, Ad Innovation and Programmatic Solutions, Turner, USA
Tim Sims – Vice President of Inventory Partnerships, The Trade Desk, USA