Global Media Measurement Initiative Launched

Alignment on media measurement, transparency and contract compliance have long been a navigation challenge for global marketers.

What’s considered a ‘best practice’ in media measurement and management varies between regions and can be also be country-specific.

Despite the irregularities identified in the 2016 K2 report, it seems very little has changed – perhaps until now.

A new global initiative was just launched to develop global standards and best practices for media measurement.

According to the Association of Canadian Advertisers‘ press release, “The‘Cross Media Working Group’ as it has been named… aims to find cross-industry consensus on key global principals for measurement, with broadcasters, digital platforms and measurement companies also involved in the initiative.

Members of this alliance, which is being led by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), is “comprised of global advertisers EA, Mastercard, P&G and Unilever, as well as advertising associations from around the world: the ACA (Canada), the ANA (US), ISBA (UK), OWM (Germany), Union des Marques (France) and the Media Rating Council. Key digital platforms and publishers including Facebook, Google and Twitter are also participating in the initiative, as are leading broadcasters.”

As agency relationship management consultants to global marketers, we are hopeful that the group will achieve alignment on media management best practices quickly.

To read the full details of this global media measurement initiative visit acaweb.ca
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ad agencies are not banks for clients

When did Agencies and Vendors become banks for their Clients?

Increased pressure from brands on their agencies and vendors to extend payment windows is greater than ever

Mega brands such as General Mills and Chrysler are seemingly throwing their weight around, conducting agency searches of which agency payment  terms have reached a new low – or should we say high?

General Mills’ recent creative agency review reportedly demanded a payment window of 120 days. And according to a post on Digiday, “Chrysler succeeded in pushing its payment window to 180 days last fall…And around the same time…a big brand started asking for payment terms of a full year, according to the 4As, which received complaints from creative and media agencies about the terms.”

The client in that latter situation asked agencies to “work out a deal where on paper it looked as if the agencies had agreed to payment terms of one year”. Often this results in having agencies and vendors pre-bill far in advance and reconcile later.

So in reality, cash-flow management has not improved.

At least that’s what occurs with some of our clients and agencies, whether we’re handling a search or modernizing their agency contracts that have to include such burdensome corporate-wide payment windows that go beyond a 30-day period.

The Digiday article further reveals that marketers requiring these abnormally long payment periods assume agencies will get financing to cover the widening payment to expense gap.

Yet the client won’t pay the financing fees.

Clients should realize that such demands, if an agency acquiesces, can become part of the agency overhead – so you’re still paying the finance charges.

Equally troublesome is the use of third-party invoice processing systems that charge agencies for every invoice that is submitted – non-reimbursable of course.

Agencies are in the business of driving brand revenue through their communications expertise, not money-lenders to clients.

Wonder if client-side staff would be okay with being paid 120 days out.

Definitely not.

Is this what clients really mean by wanting agencies to be their partners?

Probably not.

Yet here we have another strain on client-agency relationships.

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Agencies Need to Make a Better Case

Show your case studies and capabilities – don’t phone it in

So, you finally got that elusive call with an agency search consultant. Or, better yet, someone at the client. But, you didn’t host the call on an online conferencing service?

That’s a missed opportunity given today’s technology.

And a 5-page deck is all you need to:

  1. Show you researched the brand or search consultant
  2. List your capabilities on one page and let the conversation steer the drill-down
  3. Show 2-3 of your best case studies – one page each with creative links

That’s it. Not complicated.

So why do so many ad agencies try to “talk” their capabilities and case studies at their audience over the phone?

As a result, you won’t keep your audience engaged nor leverage the impact of visuals to make a lasting impression.

Granted, technology can let us down at times. So you may want to send that deck just before the call.

But to get the most out of the short call, try to leverage online conferencing services and present a quick deck!

Bajkowski + Partners is a global consultancy with practices in Agency Search and Selection Management, Agency Performance and Relationship Management, Marketing Organization and Optimization, and Brand and Marcomm Management.

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U.S. Media Buying Probe May Ensnare Marketers

Ever since former Mediacom CEO, Jon Mandel, publicly alleged four years ago at a forum held by the Association of National Advertisers that media buying agencies were engaged in non-transparent behaviors in order to retain discounts and rebates that belonged to advertisers, investigations into such practices have not receded.

The U.S. Department of Justice investigation, which has been underway for nearly a year, just recently led to the subpoena of records from one major advertiser.

Until now, attention within the industry has focused on behaviors among media buying agencies, real or imagined, but today’s article in AdAge adds a cautionary warning to marketers:  some of you may want to lawyer up.

Why?

If investigators can prove any brand-side marketers approved of, encouraged or willfully ignored misconduct by their media agencies, they could be facing criminal charges. And someone on the agency side may strike a plea deal in exchange for implicating a client.

According to the ANA’s website, the purpose of its recently released whitepaper, Media Buying 2018 – Transparency at a Crossroads , co-developed with legal firm ReedSmith, is to “provide a historical perspective of the transparency issues and to outline the options that advertisers have to cooperate or not cooperate with the FBI.”

If you’re involved with media buying, either client or agency side, you may want to seek advice from your own counsel – both corporate and personal.

Bajkowski + Partners LLC is a leading consultancy providing services to marketing and procurement teams in the areas of agency relationship management, agency search, process audits, contract and SOW development and audits, and other marketing operations related areas. For more information, please visit our website.

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