May 14, 2020: Earlier today the Association of Creative Communication Agencies (A2C) and the Council of Quebec Media Directors (CDMQ) announced a Manifesto for Responsible Media Practices. The intent of the Manifesto is to bolster suffering local media by redirecting spend (primarily digital) from global platforms to local media. The goal is to double advertising revenue directed to local media, adding an estimated $200 million.

A2C and CDMQ believe that the important goal of supporting local media can be achieved without negative media costs and/or efficiencies of this program being borne by the advertiser. As their manifesto states:

“The agencies that are members of the A2C and the CDMQ agree to adapt their media planning and purchasing protocols in order to allocate a larger share of investments in local media. Their proposals will obviously take into account the realities of each advertiser and the distinctive parameters of each campaign, always keeping the achievement of business objectives a priority”.

We recognize the value of a connection to local audiences. Nonetheless, we recommend advertisers ask the necessary questions to ensure optimized performance of media while balancing message impact.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

  • Request your agency advise and gain your approval to any significant spending shifts or media choices to your plan prior to execution.
    • Enforce or develop contractual terms regarding which media currency defines the billable amount with preference towards Media Rating Council accredited metrics.
    • Ensure your agency is focused on your business outcomes as their primary objective.
    • Ask your agency to highlight the changes vs previous plans and to identify pros and cons, including both quality and efficiency metrics.
    • Agree on KPI’s that are important to track prior to and after the shift.
    • Test before making any large or long-term commitments.
    • Take note of key learnings.
  • As you should do with all media, understand what platforms they are recommending and why.
    • Do they operate transparently?
    • How are their metrics verified?
    • What measures do they have in place to handle fraud?
    • What is their inventory/capacity to handle the increased volume? Avoid publishers who are buying traffic to increase their inventory, which attracts increased fraud.
  • A recent study indicated that, on average, $0.51 of the advertiser’s dollar makes it to media; the rest goes into agency, technology and data fees. If the intent is to support local media then paying attention to the costs of buying media is as important as the destination of the spend to ensure publishers receive maximum revenue.
    • Perform an analysis of the fees attached to the proposed changes to ensure they deliver on the intent.
    • Ask your agency if there are more efficient paths to local media.

If you have any questions regarding the Manifesto or require advice on how to approach significant changes to your media plan, please contact Patrick Hotte, VP, Quebec by email or phone: (514) 842-6422 / 1-800-883-0422