OPINION: INDUSTRY VIEW

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Council has been discussing for the past nine months how to implement a more professional and accurate way of measuring advertising agencies’ performance.

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Council has been

discussing for the past nine months how to implement a more professional

and accurate way of measuring advertising agencies’ performance.



The IPA’s aim is to provide clients with information they can respect

and therefore bolster their view of advertising as a business-like

profession.



Therefore, it was opportune to read Caroline Marshall’s Perspective in

Campaign (11 December 1998) offering to publish two league tables on

behalf of the industry - one based on billings, the second on gross

income. I can assure Campaign that the IPA Council agrees this is the

best way forward.



As a trade body, the IPA’s main responsibility is to represent the

interests of all its members - individually and collectively.



The most extreme evidence in the industry of individual interest is the

regular publication of a league table to demonstrate how much more (or

less) successful one IPA member is than another. To ask the members of

the IPA Council to consider a proposal which places the interests of the

industry ahead of the interests of their own individual agency

represents potentially a significant conflict of interests for many.



Nevertheless, the members of the Council have decided to proceed on a

two-table basis. In short, they have put the industry first - in some

cases before their own agencies’ short-term interests.



Estimated billings still have a value in charting how much expenditure

goes ’through’ an agency and how much space has been bought in which to

place the advertising that they have created.



However, at a time when agencies are increasingly rewarded by fees or

variable commissions, and when agencies are increasingly involved in

remuneration for standalone marketing advice, direct marketing, website

design and other marketing communication activity, it seems the right

decision to introduce a complementary 1998 league table based on

income.



For a number of years, the level of the subscriptions to the IPA itself

has been based on agencies’ gross income (traditionally it was on

billings), so our starting point in 1999 will be the submissions that

each agency makes in the first quarter of the year in response to the

subscription request.



There will then be a follow-up to the subscription request; each agency

will be asked whether they are willing for their 1998 gross income

figure to be published.



Agencies don’t have to agree. It’s not a condition of IPA

membership!



However, I hope that the majority will want to participate in the

publication of these figures.



Provided we have a good majority of IPA agencies, we’ll publish a table

of all agencies enjoying a gross income in excess of pounds 500,000,

which we estimate covers about 140 of the total IPA membership.



The IPA should be praised for putting a higher priority on collective

interest, rather than individual interest. I am hopeful that the rest of

the industry will follow this lead.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).