Big Media Networks Prioritise Clients That Pay More: Local Planet

Big Media Networks Prioritise Clients That Pay More: Local Planet

A CEO of an independent media agency, part of newly formed media agency network Local Planet, has hit out at established players in the market saying they prioritise clients that pay more and others are left feeling second-best.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

“A lot of the clients in the established networks that aren’t necessarily the biggest, I don’t think they’re always prioritised by those networks. Obviously because their main focus is going to be their largest clients,” Clint McCarthy, CEO of PMA Communications Group told B&T.

His comments come as he and a number of independent agencies across the global form a new network called Local Planet. The network comprises of one agency in each market. It launched Monday this past week with 3000 staffers and $10 billion in billings, said McCarthy.

The network has a number of clients already, and McCarthy said there’s opportunity now for his agency, and the others in the network, to give something more to clients that aren’t feeling the love from the big players already in market.

“I think the opportunity for us is to take clients that are going to be important to us rather than a small agency in another network,” he said. “There’s going to be opportunity for the clients to do more with less. And to really treat those people differently.

“It’s not really about scale, it’s about the people involved in the business.”

When asked whether he meant the more a client pays, the more they are prioritised by the big networks, McCarthy agreed, saying he’s seen clients becoming sick of being second best.

“And that’s the experience over the last couple of years we’ve seen before we formally announced the network.

“That’s certainly what we’ve seen, that they deserve better, they’re looking for that alternative and because they’re not a priority in those larger networks.”

He’s got it wrong, defended Greg Graham, business development and marketing officer at media agency network GroupM.

Graham said it was an outdated model to focus on just billings – the amount a client spends on media. It used to be, said Graham, the higher the billings, the higher the agency’s fee and then perhaps, the client might have been prioritised more.

But most clients have a flexible remuneration model nowadays, he added, meaning the fee is based on a number of factors and doesn’t impact the revenue.

“The revenue may be just as a good on a small or medium client,” he said. “The size doesn’t matter.”

Graham further added when it comes to big global clients that have a strong focus on procurement, their local business may not be as profitable as people think.