Agency Contract Reviews

Am I allowed to audit my agency?

Having read “The 105th thing on your to do list” you will now know what kind of audit you’re looking to conduct. So what’s the next step? Before you go out looking for an auditor, you need to check that you are actually ‘allowed’ to audit your agency and, if you are, what can and Read More

Posted on April 20, 2016 by Adrian

Trust and transparency in client-agency relationships

From the perspective of any marketing contract compliance auditor, the results of the ID Comms 2016 Transparency Survey are music to their ears.  For Financial Progression, the results mirror exactly the ethos on which the business was established: namely that the more brands understand the financial realities and business models of agencies, the more readily Read More

Posted on April 1, 2016 by Adrian

Is it clear where an agency is making money on your account?

When an agency submits a statement of work for a production job or a media plan to a brand team, you would expect that the amount on the piece of paper you approve represents the whole story. Well, not necessarily. What we have found is that the fees from the brand may only be one Read More

Posted on January 7, 2016 by Adrian

‘Big 4 only’ audit clauses outlawed: what’s the impact on your agency contracts?

In April 2014 legislation was approved by the EU Parliament and adopted by the Council of the European Union to make the audit market in the EU more competitive. Key measures are that Public Interest Entities (PIEs) will have to change the audit firms that review their year end accounts at prescribed intervals and the Read More

Posted on March 14, 2014 by Adrian

You’ve avoided handing over a ‘golden goodbye’ to your old agency. What’s next?

You’ve appointed a new agency. Tick. Done the exit audit of its predecessor. Tick. Read our audit report. Tick. Surely all that is left to do now is agree how any monies owing will be paid back? Actually, for the majority of brands, this is where the hard work starts. In this blog post I will explain why…

Posted on January 6, 2014 by Adrian

With advertising and marketing agency contracts, God is in the details

Before you sign on the dotted line, an eye for detail and the opinions of subject matter experts can save you loads of time and money. We were approached by a well-known FMCG company to quote for an exit audit in case it decided to move away from the incumbent agency during an upcoming pitch Read More

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Adrian

‘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

Posted on November 11, 2013 by Adrian

How accurate are your agency’s time sheets? Do you really know?

We all know that most agencies use time sheets to support the fees charged to their clients. How accurate are they, though? I recently had a very interesting conversation with a Marketing Director who had worked at an agency earlier in his career. The Marketing Director told me that he never trusted the time sheets Read More

Posted on October 9, 2012 by Adrian

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

Posted on September 2, 2012 by Adrian

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

Older Posts