Re: Looking for a Good Media Buying Agency

From: Jim Meskauskas <>
Date: Wed 19 Apr 2000 09:45:06 -0700

> Maybe I am mixing up terms, but both AdAuction adn
> AvenueA are requesting that we (as a publisher)
> prepare proposals for specific buys and they seem to
> prepare campaign plans and advise the buyers.
> By the way, what you do mean by minimum monthly
> retainer basis? Can you explain?

Well, there isn't enough information here to understand
fully what either entity is requesting. Are you being
asked to provide the sites you are interested in buying
on? Are they just asking for objectives?

The way it usually works with agencies (Avenue A is
one): client provides marketing objectives (this is
often a stretch for most dotcoms, as they are not
usually this organized), agency supplies media
objectives as a result, client gives feed back on
objectives, agency puts together media concepts, client
approves or amends concepts, agency puts together a
plan, client approves or does not approve plan, agency
buys media, campaign runs. The end.

AdAuction, until recently, was a property where you
could bid on remnant inventory. Now, you can submit to
them a wish-list of ad inventory, and they will go out
and see if they can find it. Though I've not used them
while under the auspices of this new model, it does
sound intriguing.

If from the publisher's side you are being asked to
fill out an RFP (request for proposal), that is a
proposition hailing from the other side of the mirror.
In this case, you are being approached as a possible
vendor. If that is so, then both Avenue A and
AdAuction can be seen as the same... One in the
capacity of an agency, the other in the capacity of a,
to put it loosely, a 3rd party reseller.

A minimum monthly retainer... just like when you
contract a lawyer? They ask for a retainer. This
covers expenses in the case that there is no spending
against with with generate fees. Traditionally,
advertising agencies have billed against some
percentage of gross spending. Now, and this is mostly
true for interactive shops, they instead will charge a
monthly retainer based on either estimated time of
staff or a projected percentage of spending levels.
So, let's say you contract a shop and they tell you
it's going to cost a minimum of $25K/month to work on
your business, that is a minimum monthly retainer.
Some outfits will amortize that against a percentage of
spending and reconcile quarterly. If you fall below
the minimum retainer based on an agreed upon percentage
of spend, then the shop collects whatever that minimum
retainer is; if you spend over that, you are billed
only at whatever the percentage of spend is.

Hope this helps.

Received on Wed Apr 19 2000 - 11:45:06 CDT


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