One of the largest U.S. “brick and mortar” retailers requires assurance that its many brand and promotional campaigns were being properly implemented by its many national and local TV, national and local Radio and Digital vendors.
The client relies on its media vendors to faithfully implement its media schedules as the basic underpinning of its sales lift tracking. These results are essential to planning future campaigns and must be reliably predictive to manage not only advertising but also inventory, staffing, pricing and creative.
ami+partners designed a custom, ongoing, continuous monitoring of its significant multi-media investment to assess the degree to which actual campaign implementation took place. This included independently assigning delivery to each aired commercial unit based on the vendor, date and time of exposure, as well as 8 other key media metrics of importance to the client. These quantitative and qualitative audit assessments were completed as quickly as data was available to ensure vendors were performing at peak effectiveness.
Our reporting is put to use in a wide array of applications including client budgeting, agency billing, payments to vendors, as well as its initial intended use of supporting the regression analyses to assess campaign successful ROI. An ancillary benefit was our progressive cost and quality improvement recommendations which has led to important cost savings and more selective use of media vendors.
Global media & entertainment company sought assurance that its agencies were properly handling their fiduciary duties to bill, receive and disburse the client’s funds in an accurate and timely manner.
The client’s many agencies, local industry practices, languages and currencies in the selected countries presented a complicated, multi-faceted array of communications challenges, different accounting formats and reports as well as inconsistent computer records and vendor materials. For this assignment our team needed to conform and synthesize these various elements into a coherent, precise set of information and a streamlined, understandable way to present our findings to the client’s various country management.
ami+partners implemented our deep dive financial audit in key European and South American countries selected by our client. This involved orchestrating the efforts of our local country media partners into a single, unified effort. Recognizing the different ways in which media is bought and sold, our team examined all pertinent financial records including agency billing to client, vendor invoices and agency payments and AVB records.
The audit results from the various countries were integrated into a single presentation, identifying our findings, conclusions and recommendations. There were two major and several minor discoveries. Of importance was the practice in one country where the agency retained client funds unclaimed by vendors after an established period. While a local practice, this discovery was unknown and unacceptable to the client, resulting in an initial return of $160K and annual payments of $50K to the client. Also, we identified failures to accurately reveal and account for AVB assets as well as the complexities of the Brazilian CEMP regulations.
Procurement and legal teams of an international food service client require its agency to undergo an annual contract compliance audit to ensure its senior management and franchisees receive fully transparent reporting of their contractual terms.
The contract under which the client and agency were operating was, as acknowledged by the client, outdated, insufficiently reflecting the unique aspects of the current media industry and lacked the level of precision we believe to be “Best Practices”.
Our team identified the key improvement opportunities that would best serve both the client and the agency. These included improving clarity and precision of the SOW, staffing plan, compensation and other pertinent provisions of the agreement. Further, we proposed language that better memorialized the understandings and KPIs that triggered the agency’s PRIP (Performance Related Incentive Plan).
In addition to providing both “best practices” guidance and suggested language, audit results included identification of gaps in actual staffing versus approved plan that significantly lowered the labor + overhead + profit fee required of the client. Further, the improved clarity of the incentive program ensured the agency a fair opportunity to be incrementally compensated for superior work in achieving KPIs of importance to the client.
As part of its AOR review, our major international automotive manufacturer sought a fair and balanced way to identify a superior buying agency resource from among its various agencies.
The client looked to ami+partners to provide a definitive, client-specific, multi-media, contemporary way to assess the capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of its international roster of agency buying groups. In so doing, the client wanted to consider the possibility of consolidating its media buying, seeking our guidance on potential savings from its media investments in 40+ international countries in which it conducts business.
We implemented our Media Buying Challenge © process which has proven to be a highly effective mechanism to identify each agency’s media buying strengths and weaknesses on a by country and by medium basis. Agencies are guided by our team through a highly refined, disciplined, documentable, client-specific turnkey media exercise that permits them to fairly demonstrate their capabilities in areas of specific importance to the advertiser. The Challenge is specifically designed to provide participants a fair and objective process in which to compete, with essential controls to protect not only the client’s data but also the submissions from the agencies.
Findings from the 17 countries of highest priority and spend by the client not only identified the “best in class” media buying resource for cost and quality by country, by medium, by vendor but also revealed double digit percent savings that could be achieved via lower media costs without diluting schedule quality. Such savings were memorialized in the client – agency contracts with specific “Look Forward” target pricing and audit verification of cost and quality to ensure no loss of value over time.
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