relationship transparency

Is the top agency talent working on your business? Or on someone else’s?

When you change the agency’s fee structure, how do you know you’re still getting the same quality of staff on your account? In conversation with the Marketing Procurement Manager at one of our long-standing clients, it became apparent that the Head of Media had recently left the business. This meant that, for the first time, Read More

‘It’s in the contract, so it must be happening. Right?’

A major brand discovers that if you don’t look, you could be in for some surprises. As a brand working with an agency, there are some fundamental things you expect to happen: output that meets your expectations, fees to be charged as agreed, reconciliations to be performed regularly. We were approached by a well-known global brand Read More

‘Audit my agency? Dare I even look?’

With agency relationships, a golden rule is: If you’re not checking, you can’t know what’s actually going on. A large FMCG approached us after having a number of conversations about costs with one of its agencies, which simply did not seem to make sense. As a result it started to wonder whether it was being Read More

‘Sorry, our contract says you can’t see that.’

If there are more words governing audit rights than in the rest of the commercial agreement, it’s worth asking why. We were approached by a global retailer who wanted reassurance that its multi-million pound annual contract with its lead creative agency in the UK had been implemented as written. Following our initial review of the Read More

Trust in commercial relationships

“Trust me, I’m looking after your best interests.” A noble sentiment indeed, but how do you know whether your trust is well-placed or not? Does your account manager view the world through a similar or different lens? Well, you don’t know for sure where the trust lies in a commercial relationship until you test it. Read More

How exactly do marketing agencies make money?

Like many businesses providing services, marketing agencies make money by selling the time of their people. Take a fully-loaded salary cost and mark it up by an amount sufficient to cover overheads and make an economic profit. The more of an individual’s time that can be billed to clients, the more money the agency makes and Read More

Hide and seek: The game of audit clauses in agency contracts

When you’ve audited as many commercial marketing contracts as we have, it would be fair to say that we’ve seen a very wide range of audit clauses — from nothing through to documents which are separate to the main commercial contract, and are even longer and more detailed! A good audit clause should allow a Read More

Common contract compliance audit objectives

Why do brands typically carry out contract compliance audits of their marketing agencies? Over the years Financial Progression has found that our audit clients’ objectives broadly fit into two main areas… Some focus on the day-to-day working relationship, commercial and financial management, seeking to find out what is working well, what is not and then take Read More

Murky media deals

Being in the business we’re in, Marketing magazine is a must-read every week. One of the more thought-provoking columns is written by Andrew Walmsley. His focus is on matters Digital and this article on “Murky Media Deals” published in Marketing at the end of October 2010 really hits the button in certain areas (and not Read More

How transparent should a trading relationship be for it to become mutually beneficial?

This is a question we at Financial Progression often find ourselves pondering with our clients. How much financial transparency is it reasonable to expect of a supplier? How candid will they be in their response? How much does it matter? Can mutual trust exist without complete transparency? Establishing the importance of financial transparency of suppliers Read More

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