Media sales, unfortunately, is not an exact science. Certainly digital advances have made forecasting considerably more accurate. For every predictably reliable ratings juggernaut, like the Super Bowl and March Madness, there are those unexpected flops (or in some cases huge hits) that make predicting performance difficult. The occasional breaking news event can sometimes even result in your ad not running at all. This is why many media contracts contain a contingency plan: the make-good.
Networks, publications, or websites rarely give advertisers refunds; what they instead offer is a make-good. Make-goods are free adjustments or credits given in lieu of an advertising mistake or under-delivery. Here are some instances when you will typically be entitled to a make-good on your media buy:
- Bad advertising placements: In print this can be placing the ad on the wrong page. Online it can be next to questionable or conflicting material (like in these examples). In TV it can be running it during the wrong time.
- An error not caused by the advertiser : This could be a printing error, pixilation that leaves the image or text indecipherable, wrong size, etc.
- Ratings or impressions shortfalls: For TV it happens when a show gets considerably less viewership than contracted by the media seller. On TV this can be considerably fewer views on the site.
- A preemption that results in the ad not airing. When a breaking news story or speech by the president results in the program and its subsequent advertising not airing.
If your ad is impacted by preemption or one of the above reasons, contact your sales rep, media buyer, or station to negotiate a make-good.
Traditionally, these replacements are at least equal to the original media buy and are usually issued by rerunning the ad (or new ad in the event that the wrong ad was placed) in a replacement position or spot.
But with connected TV and on-demand TV ratings are just not as predictable as they used to be and ratings or audience under-delivery is more common than in the past. In a recent Ad Age article, “When Make-Goods Aren’t Enough,” it was reported that 5% of networks will have “serious issues” with delivering ratings numbers as they were sold to the advertiser.
As a result media sellers are now opting for more creative options for making good on their ads. Some of these include offering up ad space during re-airings of the program on a digital site like Hulu. Another alternative is to offer up a replacement ad during a show that generates similar ratings numbers or multiple ads to a lower-rated show that reaches the same target audience.
Situations like this are one example of how beneficial it can be to partner with a media buyer, like Capitol Media Solutions. As experienced media strategists we understand the nuances of negotiating media contracts and in the instance that you need a make-good we can get you a fair deal equal to or more valuable than your original media buy.
For more information, contact Capitol Media Solutions. Our media buying and planning team can create a customized media plan for your business or help you assess your current media plan for better value.