AAR reduces media fees after slow year for account reviews

The AAR has cut its annual fee from media agencies following a poor year for new-business leads.

The volume of media reviews handled by the matchmaking company has been hit by competition from media auditors and the economic downturn.

This year, the service has handled relatively small-scale reviews for clients including Orange Glo, Expedia, Legal & General and five.

The fee has dropped by 7.2 per cent from £7,000 to £6,500. Member agencies were alarmed last January, when the AAR put its subscription rate up by 17 per cent.

One new-business director said: "Is it worth £6,500? Not based on this year."

However, Paul Phillips, the company's director of media and advertising services, said the AAR had been involved in behind-the-scenes pitches that hadn't had press coverage.

He added he was aware of agency economic pressures and conceded that the influence of the auditors had grown, but said the AAR provided a different service.

Kerry Glazer, the managing director of AAR, said: "The AAR has a reputation for integrity, fairness and supporting rather than exploiting agencies. We've received less than our average number of media briefs and have had the integrity to act accordingly."

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