what's new / Coming Up

ISBA Study – Paying for Digital media services

Thank you to all the brands that took part in our research project, conducted in collaboration with ID Comms, asking members to share how they organise, manage and pay for on-line media services.  New Report available now

The results are now available for all members, click
here to request your copy. 
We have run this study on four previous occasions, starting in 2007, to try and establish some benchmarks for members to use. 


Key trends emerging in 2016 are:

  • A move amongst ISBA members to pay for digital media services by retainer and project fees, although commission on spend remains the dominant payment method.
  • Rapidly rising digital expenditures as a proportion of total media spend.
  • Digital media continues to be traded through main media agency relationships rather than specialists.
  • However, building on a trend identified in 2013, advertisers are bringing more digital strategy in-house.
  • Transparency in digital media trading remains a major concern for ISBA members.
  • More respondents to the survey expect their levels of concern around paid digital media to increase going forward, but less than half have a strategies in place to address the issues.

Thank you again for participating and we hope you find the research of use.



Launch of new ISBA Contract Terms for Media Agency Services

It is now more important than ever for advertisers to have a clear, strong and transparent contract with their media agency. The media landscape has become much more complex and the methods of buying and selling media, with the advent of programmatic trading, have become harder to understand and in many cases opaque!

To reflect the massive changes this market has undergone, ISBA has produced a new contemporary framework agreement to guide our members who are reviewing or developing their own terms with media agencies. Launched in April, the contract is in a new revolutionary form and addresses critical transparency issues surrounding media agency operations.

The Framework has been designed to help you review, refresh and up-date your terms and vitally, bring added protection on a growing list of issues, including:  

  • Accountability and transparency which has been heightened and tightened rights across the entire contract
  • Content, viewability, click fraud and Brand safety of on-line ads: new clauses to better direct the agency on acceptable / industry practice, avoiding illegals sites, reporting criteria, avoidance of wasted costs
  • Impact of Agency Group deals / neutrality of strategy: ensuring that deals with media vendors do not impact or influence the agencies’ choice of media for the client
  • Performance and financial audits – extending audit rights: ensuring that clients have the right to audit up the food chain to Group level and 3rd, 4th & 5th parties to the contract, where ‘group’ deals sit which may be invisible to the local / individual agencies; ensuring the client has the right to choose their own auditor, not one dictated by the agency
  • Data ownership: ensuring clients own the rights to data created through their buy, essential for auditing purposes in particular – we could envisage a point in time where agencies would try to sell this data back to the client community for auditing purposes!
  • Rebates - AVB’s, Value Pots & free inventory: ensuring the client receives all rebates due to them related to their contribution to trading, whether in the form of free-inventory, financial kick-backs, added services etc.

The Framework agreement is now available to download. Simply contact Grazina for your copy and the accompanying Drafting Notes:

Request your copy > 

Click here for further details and to watch footage of the teach-in session from Launch Day


Real World Ideas

A Guide to Experiential  ¦  Download Now! 

  More than just a mere campaign 'add-on', experiential marketing has the power to engage with consumers in a way that no other discipline can. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that the marketplace is still very much confused, with marketers often doubting its relevance and the opportunities it offers. 

ISBA's new guide, created in conjunction with Sense, serves as a fully rounded introduction to experiential, offering practical tips and insights to help answer any questions marketers may have. Topics explored include:

  • Direct & In-direct reach
  • Tips on choosing the right agency
  • Case Studies from brands including Vitamin Water, Heineken & Harvey Nichols
  • Insights on everything from the brief to creative approaches, planning & measurement

To get your copy of the guide, email us now:

Request Now > 

Good Brief Week

  Good Brief Week took place from 2 - 6 November 2015 and proved to be a resounding success, providing both clients and agencies with plenty of food for thought. 

Over 100 advertisers, from members such as Barclays, ITV, John Lewis and Travelex, participated in 6 different events, all of which were designed to highlight and share briefing best practice and give attendees an outlet to share what they believe to be the prevailing issues with current briefing practices. Many of the discussions we had centred around issues including: 

  • Dissatisfaction with the briefing process and how briefs are delivered.
  • Client feedback and lack of it.
  • Briefing training.
  • Time pressures and achieving agency collaboration across integrated ideas briefs.

All of these, plus many other issues, are discussed further in our series of blogs, written following each event. Find out more and access the blogs here >

The Talent Revolution

One of the biggest challenges advertisers tell us they face is that they still "don't know what they don't know" when it comes to marketing in a digital world. So Google Digital Academy, the Boston Consulting Group, the Knowledge Engineers, the IAB, the IPA, the Marketing Academy, ISBA, and the Marketing Society have teamed up to help bridge the digital skills gap.

For full report and further details click here




Media2020: preparing for a very different media ecosystem

What will the media landscape of the future look like? How will agency models change and what effect will these changes have? How can we prepare for future changes?

These are just some of the many, many questions advertisers have been asking us and media advisory firm, MediaSense, in relation to our rapidly evolving media marketplace.Both the level of concern amongst our members and the pace at which media is currently and continues to change, led to the launch of our landmark visioning research study, Media2020.
 The research, a combination of in-depth interviews with 30 senior marketers and a survey completed by 200 senior decision-makers, seeks to address current concerns and provide marketers with reassurance and guidance on how to be successful in what will be a very different media environment.

Download the full report here >

ISBA/IPA launch new Client/Agency Framework Contracts

ISBA and the IPA have recently launched a new Client/Agency Creative Services Contract Agreement - the two new flexible framework contract templates have been designed as a starting point to help clients and agencies formalise their relationships in an era where services are converging and relationships becoming more multi-functional and complex. The fast evolving marcoms landscape needs flexible terms to deal with the reality of today’s client/agency relationships which are often multi-disciplined. There is also a parallel trend of clients shifting to working on more of a project base with agency partners. The two new contracts, have been drafted by Lewis Silkin, better reflect these new and ever evolving relationships.

Debbie Morrison Director Consultancy and Best Practice, ISBA said: “Having been involved in the development of the first set of contracts in ‘98 these new terms are the most flexible, robust and comprehensive contracts we have created to date. They truly reflect the way clients and agencies now work together across multiple communications platforms. “It’s been hard work to get these out, but we have had a great deal of help along the way with many advertisers and agencies sense checking our approach as things have developed. The great thing is that these terms have also been designed to flex and evolve as the comms market continues to change at pace. We hope they will help revolutionise the way client/agency contracts are put in place.”

These new contracts are
NOW AVAILABLE to our Members:

Click here to request a copy

Members can watch ISBA's Debbie Morrison, Richard Lindsay of the IPA and Jo Farmer from Lewis Silkin as they guide you through the need for such contracts, what's contained within them and the benefits for both clients and agencies here

Any questions regarding the contract, please e-mail Grazina




New ISBA research study on Evaluating Creative Agency Performance

Our new study reveals what ISBA members think about their creative agency’s performance.   This comprehensive study, offering a 15 year perspective, will allow advertisers to benchmark how their own agency performance compares to the market.   

Click here to view our press release for the Evaluating Creative Agency Survey, which highlights some key trends.


 This document is FREE for our Members:

 Click here to download Evaluating Creative Agencies (Vol 1, 151 pages)

 Click here to download Evaluating Creative Agencies - Executive Summary (23 pages)


For non-members, the report is £300.00 (Incl. VAT) - click here for the order form.

 Any questions regarding the report, please e-mail Grazina


Other guides of interest...


Make Once, Reuse Often - a Top-Tips Guide to Integrated Production 
Creating more content without spending more on production is a major issue facing all advertisers in this multi-channel, digital world.

Commercials, Videos, Print, Digital, Social Media… as the number of channels and opportunities has proliferated so has the need for content to fill them. All of which costs a lot more money. Or does it?

Download our Member-Only Guide to get the most out of integrated production


Employers Class 1 National Insurance Contributions
From 6 April 2014, Class 1 NICs at 13.8% will no longer be payable by Advertisers where talent is engaged under a contract for services. Access guidance here (don't forget to log-in first). Or email Grazina for your copy.

Questions to ask when looking for a social media partner
We want you to get the most from your communications agencies, so we have produced a guide outlining the type of questions you need to ask during a social media agency pitch. ISBA members can download the guide here (don't forget to log-in first). Or email Grazina for your copy.

Design Best Practice

ISBA has been advising on Branding and Design agency searches for many years, and we are now delighted to announce a new partnership with the Design Business Association (DBA). Fine out more.

Music Rights and Engaging Talent
ISBA, in conjunction with Resilient Music, have produced an updated guide on Music Rights & Engaging Talent. The document is designed to help you negotiate the complex area of music licencing and usage rights, and you can now download it directly from the production hub - just download (you will need your login details) or email Grazina for a copy.  ISBA Members can access this guide via the ISBA Advice Hub - Production 


Alternative Pitches
Via the Good Pitch initiative ISBA and the IPA have been working together to develop some ‘Alternative’ pitch processes for clients to consider, the great news is that clients, in the main, are welcoming these Alternatives with interest and in many cases are very happy to consider an Alternative process and are often relieved that a more concise way to pitch is available. Visit the Good Pitch site here

The ISBA Advice Hub – Production
The Hub hosts best practice documents and guidance, along with:   

  • learnings from other ISBA members; 
  • marketplace information, clarification of the different types of de-coupling models with watch-outs and potential pitfalls; 
  • supplier information;
  • process guidelines to help anyone considering  a production review of any kind, and much, much more
  • Click here to view the 60 second movie.

A Guide to Digital Production 
With audiences consuming media across multiple platforms, often simultaneously, it is crucial that brand messages are delivered quickly to market and with a consistent quality. This guide provides a simple understanding of how brands can get the most from their digital production to ensure that production excellence meets creative excellence. The guide has been designed to provide an overview of the main themes and perspectives when looking at the possibilities of decoupling digital production. This is not an in depth document outlining production processes but instead has been written to serve as food for thought and set you on the right path for discussions both with internal teams and external suppliers. ISBA Members can access this guide via the ISBA Advice Hub - Production 

A Guide to Off-shoring your Production
Many ISBA members ask for guidance on production de-coupling and a component part of this story is the possibility of off-shoring ‘factory level’ production to low-cost off-shore markets.  Many such ‘off-shore’ companies are now established around the world and most of the main production houses available for direct working relationships with clients also have relationships with off-shore companies.  This Guide establishes some ground-rules on how to go about evaluating whether an off-shore solution is right for your organisation, and what factors you need to consider before taking an off-shore production route.   In the Guide you will find some good thought starters to help steer you in the 'is off-shoring right for us?’ evaluation process.  ISBA Members can access this guide via the ISBA Advice Hub - Production 


New Guidance note on Agency Compliance Auditing
Ever stringent corporate governance, a more complex communications marketplace and the desire to manage commercial contracts more smartly has resulted in an increase in advertisers using compliance auditing to manage their agency contracts. It's not exciting but it is an essential business process! New for members our guidance provides useful direction for any member considering using a compliance auditor and acts as a best practice refresher to those already auditing. For the what, why and how of contract compliance auditing, simply request your copy here 

Choosing the Right Social Media Partner 
This guide provides a general overview of agencies' offerings in the social media space. It looks at the capabilities of different agency types from digital, creative and PR to pure play social, digital and media and will provide clarity for any organisation looking for a Social Media partner. The guide also provides a best practice approach for the process to follow when sourcing an agency.

Email us to request a copy.


Understanding, Managing & Sourcing PR Agencies:
ISBA’s first guide to Public Relations, Understanding, Managing & Sourcing PR Agencies, will give those managing and/or sourcing PR agencies a definitive advantage. It draws on experience from PR providers, buyers and major national journalists, providing impartial, practical advice on everything from how to select an agency to which payment model is right for your needs.  It also explores the role of PR giving readers a well-rounded understanding of the marketplace and, specifically, advice on how to: manage a PR pitch; appoint an agency, and; get the most out of the PR agency relationship.

Email us to request a copy.