A clutch of agencies, including a major multinational network, are
pushing for the advertising industry to accept a new electronic-press
booking system that would lead to greater transparency in the press ad
The planned system, through Reuters, would not only fully automate the
booking and scheduling of all press ads, but also the raising and
payment of invoices. This is a potential problem area because some
agencies have traditionally made money from sitting on cash they have
procured from clients early.
Reuters presented its proposals to the Institute of Practitioners in
Advertising earlier this month. A number of agencies have so far
welcomed the proposals and said they are prepared to work with Reuters.
Others have rejected the scheme.
One insider has accused the agencies who criticise the scheme of failing
to move with the times. ‘We may potentially have to give up a revenue
stream, but it’s going to happen anyway,’ he said.
Another agency principal who is pushing for industry-wide acceptance of
the Reuters’ scheme commented: ‘In the past, many of the media owners
and administration systems were not up to scratch. Some media
independents grew up by managing cash effectively and taking advantage
of the system’s inefficiencies. Some agencies are guilty of sitting on
John Raad, deputy director general at the IPA, said: ‘This was very much
the first opportunity for Reuters to explain its plans for the UK. We do
see the long-term benefits, but our concern is that, if it is brought in
on a piecemeal basis, agencies may end up running two systems in
parallel. We’re worried about the additional cost.’
Most press bookings currently go through one computer bureau, Donovan
Kevin O’Brien, a business development executive at Reuters, said: ‘We
have a long history of effectively analysing data and allowing people to
trade off it. We are offering the ad industry a system to facilitate
seamless transactions in an electronic environment. This will lead to
transparency in the market.’