E-mail this to a contact Media Buying Case Study

Media buying practices Share/Save/Bookmark

Financial Liability

Advertisers should not be expected to accept any liability to pay the media more than once. Therefore, but subject to individual contractual arrangements and/or national statutory regulations if different, advertisers oppose:

a) the transfer of liability for payment to them in the case their media buying intermediary’s insolvency
b) being pursued for payment for a second time if their media buyer defaults in paying the media once it has been paid by the advertiser
c) media buying intermediaries accepting any contract with any media which lays down any financial liability on the advertiser without the prior and explicit agreement of the advertiser.

Timely payment

Advertisers understand the costs and risks which relate to their agencies acting as principals to their media bookings, and therefore recognise the need to pay their agencies on time as advised.

Between the supplier and its client

Advertisers expect absolute transparency of all aspects of the cost structure of the purchase of advertising space or time on their behalf.

This should form a part of the contract between the advertiser and the agency, and if appropriate, the media owner. Written contracts are strongly encouraged.

Of contractual arrangements

Advertisers expect supplier contracts to cover:

1) clear definition of the individual responsibilities of all partners involved
2) proof of appearance of all media time, space and commercial content, booked or agreed upon, and the right to subsequent audit if required
3) right of access to all media contracts, invoices, fees and records relating to their business.

Of price

Advertisers have the right to know the actual costs charged by any media owner to any third party acting on their behalf. Media buying intermediaries are expected to provide advertisers with full details of all financial arrangements negotiated with the media sellers such as discounts, rebates and any other negotiated benefits wherever and whenever applied.

Of purchases

It is essential that advertisers are made fully aware of the status of their purchases against pre-agreed criteria, and of any bonus or compensatory time or space negotiated on their behalf, and are provided with acceptable proof of delivery.

The advertiser should have unchallenged access to all media owner invoices relevant to his business on request.

Relating to conflicts of interest

Media buying intermediaries must always inform the advertiser about any interest that they may have directly or indirectly with any media or advertising vehicle.

On volume/ frequency discounts

Advertisers expect to benefit entirely from all the volume/frequency discounts earned by themselves directly and from any share of such discounts earned by their agencies according to the individual merit of their business.


Advertisers are generally opposed to any government regulations, sales cartels, or industry organisations which restrict free market negotiation and constrain price, terms and conditions for media buying.

Advertiser/ agency confidentiality

It is best practice for a confidentiality agreement to be drawn up between the advertiser and their agency or agencies. This agreement should require both parties not to disclose any confidential information to any third parties.

Agencies should acknowledge their responsibility to respect the confidentiality of all marketing and sales information relating to and supplied by the client in the course of business.

Likewise, advertisers should respect the confidentiality of proprietary studies carried out by an agency specifically for its clients.

Advertiser-media owner and third party confidentiality

Advertisers insist that the media owners’ vendors keep the advertisers’ transactions, background or plans on their respective businesses confidential, and expect the same confidentiality from their media consultants and auditors, whether engaged, retained or freelance, both during and after the term of the business relationship.

Agencies, especially those members of (or belonging to) the same communications group, sometimes participate in upper level structures (for example, those known as ‘buying clubs’) with the purpose to further consolidate volumes and increase negotiating power. All the above consideration about media buying practices, obviously apply even when the trading occurs through, or with the involvement of, such structures.

Advertisers reserve the right to negotiate and buy their media directly with the media