Brand Transparency. It’s Important.

Written by 5ivecanons Staff

In light of our most recent blog on the age of disinformation, we’d also like to touch on transparency in advertising agencies and the importance of just being honest.

In a recent study conducted by Label Insight, it was discovered that out of a survey of 2,000 people, 94 % were more likely to gravitate and stay loyal to companies or brands that were transparent in their advertising. So, what does it mean to be transparent? Just be honest. Be honest about what your message is to your audience. Whether it’s your industry culture, social media presence, or the services you provide – there can and should be, truth in advertising.

For the most part, the Internet has made people smarter and more skeptical. More aware of the information they are consuming. This means you can’t get away with lackadaisical, kitchy ads. People will call you out on your bullshit. If you want a prime example of some agency transparency, check out our about page. We’ve got nothing to hide.

Agency Life

Say you’re a Jacksonville advertising and marketing agency with expertise in business strategy, storytelling, design, development and social management working on your transparency as a company. The first step would be to mention that part of writing this blog is to boost our SEO but at least we’re being honest about it. It’s not enough just to offer the services you provide. Consumers want to know about you and your company.

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How’s your office vibe? Are your employees personable enough to grab coffee with? Are you a dog or a cat person? Do you recycle? What’s your social security number? After all of these questions are answered then you can talk about your product and every bit of information better be true. Trust.

The Consequences of NOT Being Transparent

After the Wells Fargo scandal hit the news, it was revealed that the company opened millions of fake accounts in customers’ names and then said virtually nothing on the matter when they were discovered. They spoke on the bare minimum and acted incredibly shady about the whole ordeal. The result of the dishonest behavior was a 7.5% drop in stock and over 5,000 Wells Fargo employees were fired.

Admitting Your Mistakes

Though Wells Fargo ripped off millions of their customers they’re in the works of making it right. On their re-vamped site, their most recent campaign is, “Established 1852. Re-established 2018.” Taking their recent approach of attempting to avoid the scrutiny, they’re now facing it head on as they admit their short-comings and “re-commit” to their customers. Does this guarantee a completely trustworthy relationship with the bank and the assurance they won’t do something skeevy in the future? Probably not. But at least they’re trying.   

Learning From Your Mistakes

After Wells Fargo paid their dues, re-funding the millions of customers they ripped off, they apologized for the scandal and developed a transparency campaign in 2016 in the pursuit of a fresh start. Everything a company is expected to do in their situation after screwing up. Unfortunately, this past July, Wells Fargo is refunding customers yet again after a billing mishap that resulted in thousands of customers being billed for add-on products such a “pet insurance.” The bank has revealed, “shrinking profits” and a subsequent 51% rise in advertising spending towards the new campaign. Back to square one…

Take Away

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In short, be honest. Take your time with social media and post content truly reflective of your agency culture. Don’t just follow trends. If you find yourself, or your company, in a sticky situation, be transparent. Admit your faults and exploit your weaknesses in the pursuit of the long-game positive outcome. Most importantly, try not to make the same mistakes twice. Your consumers are smarter than you think and as soon as you can recognize that your agency or brand will churn out loyal customers and a longer life.


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