Carat founder Mike Yershon sets up new TV ad auditing company

Mike Yershon, a founder director of Carat, has come out of semi-retirement to launch his own media auditing company, Yershon Media Assessment.

Yershon, who is also a former executive media director of McCann-Erickson, aims to provide almost instant auditing of clients' TV expenditure in order to give them greater control over their TV deals.

Using Barb data, Yershon Media Assessment will check the invoice sent by the agency to the client against its register of transmitted spots.

Following the release of station price information, his company then measures the value of the airtime delivered against the deal negotiated by the agency.

The subsequent information is then e-mailed to the client prior to the agency's payment of the TV contractor's invoice. From this report a check can be made that agencies are delivering the airtime that they have claimed and, more importantly, clients will also know whether they owe or are owed money by the TV station on the agreed deal.

Yershon argues that this will give clients greater clarity and control of their airtime trading and allow them to monitor their agency's performance.

It could also expose those agencies that are failing to meet deals for certain advertisers in order to over-deliver on others. This has become a common trick among agencies trying to balance their portfolio and their levels of discount.

Yershon Media Assessment differs from its rival auditing firms because it does not provide a retrospective monitor of buying performance of a client against rival advertisers on its books or measure ratings performance against plan.

"The reason no-one has raised this before is the complexity of the task," Yershon said. "An invoice can comprise thousands of spots and these need to be reconciled against Barb reported transmissions, plus the details negotiated with TV contractors by the media buying agency. This service can dramatically improve a client's return on investment from its TV advertising."