Media rate cards used to be in GROSS.
Now they are in NET.
The difference is a 15% agency commission. This is industry standard. At Immersion, we don’t treat it like a commission though. We put it to work through our all-inclusive services for media planning, strategy, coordination, negotiating and resizing.
The greatest value is in the creative planning. In 2015 we effectively doubled the Imagine A World Without Paramedics media buy with the addition of the fourth ‘911 is for emergencies only’ ad. This generated an enormous amount of free media for us. I still saw some 2015 ads running when the 2017 campaign launched.
The strategy of the campaign is actualized through creative and media working in tandem. For instance, in 2017 we had tri-boards that would rotate between our current reality and a world with More Paramedics. We coordinated television spots that would create the tension in the first ad of a stop set (two minute commercial break) and then, relieve that tension with a dramatic paramedic rescue at the end of the break with another 30-second ad. Combining the message with creative media buying like this is a part of the strategy.
We negotiate the best value we can from a fixed, predetermined budget. This translates into more bonus and pre-emptive spots, more time, more exposure, and better placement.
Coordination involves resizing the artwork to the multiple specs required in a campaign. For instance, the print ads may be sized to billboards, however rebuilding the design to a supertail can be laborious as the new specs have lights, windows, decals, signs, and unusual angles to navigate. We also coordinate everything that goes on behind the scenes regarding station transfers and making adjustments for network censors.
Resizing artwork to some specs can be tricky.
Some agencies charge hourly for all these services and pocket the commission.
We just treat the 15% as our fee to handle everything*.
Same goes for digital. There’s a lot of labour in a digital campaign, from monitoring its progress to making snap decisions and running damage control. There are a zillion issues that can come up. We don’t bill for all the time that goes into our project management and design tweaking and file sourcing and copywriting and troubleshooting and setup and resizing and fine-tuning of these campaigns. We just take a flat fee. The industry-standard 15% commission. Some agencies charge an hourly rate for maintenance on top. We don’t.
An oldie but a goodie for Dr. B.
*Note: This applies to large media buys only. Toe-in-the-water campaigns are great, but for a small amount of tester media with substantial setup, we need to charge hourly.