Perspective from France: The true value of media agencies

What is the true value of media agencies and how should they be remunerated? Pierre-Jean Bozo, Director-General of the French Union of Advertisers (UDA), shares his thoughts.Media agencies – increasingly misnamed – have the opportunity to play a central role in the marketing of their deep knowledge of customer contact points and their ability to activate consumers. Beyond activation, know-how is also essential to strengthen consumer engagement of brands, regardless of the channel that allows it to do so most effectively. This involves the integration of content which, again, media agencies are strongly capable of. In parallel, they can be best placed at the crossroads of all communication activities to target, measure and evaluate ROI. Their expertise in measuring brand effectiveness must be part of their core service offerings.

There are many ways that enable media agencies to create value, and many are equipped to exploit them. Media agencies must constantly innovate and attract the best talent, which requires an appreciation of professions and trades that make use of very diverse profiles. However, there is a hole which agencies must be cautious about failing into. It is that of transparency. Although the temptation may be great, it is essential that they remain indisputable reference points to their clients. On the advertisers’ side, appropriate and fair compensation models and levels should be implemented. It is important that we give our agencies the means to innovate, to retain talent, to invest… and ultimately, to better serve advertisers.

The UDA is preparing the 2015 edition of its study on the remuneration of agencies that covers all of the following: creation, media and digital. Conducted by the CSA, the survey assesses the remuneration levels charged by advertisers, and in particular, analyzes current conditions and ongoing trends. The study is enriched this year with a digital component.

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