General Motors

Global Media Contracts: Good and really bad for brands?

By Mark Malone

January 31, 2012 | 5 min read

Carat's winning of the global media account for General Motors, worth roughtly around $3b dollars a year, has led Grape Digital managing director Mark Malone to question whether the brand is sacrificing something by working with one company on an international basis.

With the recent news of the Aegis Group / Carat winning the $3b Global GM contract it again raises the question of whether the discounts offered for a global exclusive deal are really worth sacrificing the creative, management and care that only smaller agencies on the ground can deliver.

Every business has to make a decision and of course look for the best cheapest deal on delivering marketing across the globe but should the smaller campaign based strategies for brands suffer because the global media deal imposes huge minimum spends and charge unbelievable mark ups making it impossible to use media to amplify these campaigns.

The very size and structure of these conglomerates means of course that there has to be a cap on the minimum spend size but surely there is a way around this?

Social Media is fast becoming the most important platform for marketing and it is here where global media deals are having the greatest effect on creativity and value for money for brands.

Social Media allows agencies to be ever more creative with the strategy and targeting and develop relevant campaigns very economically for brands. Brands are increasingly reaping the benefits of these and commissioning more and more of them without having the support of their retained media agencies. This is because these media agencies refuse to allow smaller spends to support the smaller campaigns. Or alternatively they quote ridiculous mark ups on the cost of the media for these smaller spends.

How long are these large media companies going to get away with this ridiculous situation, its not hard to log in to any of the various self serve advertising platforms to see the ridiculous mark ups these companies are offering compared to the cost to buy it. They seem to have forgotten who is the client and who is paying who for the service.

Smaller agencies can offer the versatility to get much more out of a media budget by simply being more creative with what they have. Serving many multiples of creative and constantly changing them to get the most out of a smaller budget. Serving different creative day by day in direct reaction to how the campaign is going. Reacting to and linking your creative to current events and what is happening in the world or the location you are targeting.

There is a way around this and it only seems that pride is stopping their clients from getting the most out of their own money.

Media companies should be proud of their big wins and global contracts but they then need to do all they can to deliver their utmost for the brands giving them multiples of millions of pounds. There are agencies out there that can offer these services and essentially become media owners to purchase the media from rather than going to the networks direct. This time though you get the media space as well as a more creative approach, more time optimising and getting the most out of the budget and better results for the same, or often less, money.

Why this is not happening is because the big media agencies would much prefer to just simply book a large chunk of space and move onto the next project. To be honest, it is also because they just don't have the skills to deliver the best kind of media results as the smaller agencies do as these huge and lengthy global contracts mean they don't have to. It’s win-win for them and everyone and everything else suffers as a result. Not the kind of results anyone would want in return for a multi-million pound cheque.

Embrace the possibilities of social media for marketing and do all you can for your clients. There is much more pride in that.

General Motors

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