Almost two years since ISBA launched its industry-changing Media Services Framework they have today released version two. The document represents an updated position from the set of terms published in April 2016. More changes have been made than initially anticipated, reflecting the speed of developments in the marketplace since that time.

The new version is one of a number of initiatives ISBA are involved in to move the conversation on from transparency to alignment. It forms part of a broader project to ensure strengthened and sustainable business relationships between brands and their agencies.

The new Framework, drafted by Fieldfisher, is more rounded and equitable reflecting that in creating version two ISBA consulted on content with all six of the media agency networks. This was achieved through ISBA’s partnership with PwC who acted on ISBA’s behalf as an independent broker, exploring feedback and fielding agency suggestions for the update. ISBA also took valuable feedback from the IPA.

The network agency feedback was encouraging and useful and ISBA were able to accommodate many of the network agency suggestions for improvements and clarity that were made. The familiarity the agencies how have with the Framework should enable quicker negotiations between clients and agencies.

Phil Smith said ‘ISBA has worked hard to ensure we consulted proactively with the network agencies and believe this has been beneficial in ensuring agencies are aligned. We have also created versions tailored to individual agency groups’ business models that still adhere to the principles of the Framework and are very open to working with more agencies in this way’.

50 members were consulted as part of the drafting of version two. The Framework was designed to be a starting point for negotiations between client and media agency allowing modification to suit specific requirements. Understanding how members had been using and adapting the Framework was vital when considering the changes.

The largest amount of redrafting was focused on the digital advertising clauses, this reflects how complicated this area still is for marketers and how important it is that they should examine their agreements covering these services. ISBA ensured improvements on issues including digital media, brand safety, ad fraud, viewability and verification were aligned with the JICWEBS standards.

Debbie Morrison said ‘The need for media agencies and clients to align their interests is greater than ever. Feedback from the agency community indicated that version one of the framework had really enhanced their conversations with clients on the key issues, we are confident that version two will enable even deeper dialogue and set the parties on course for stronger, sustainable relationships’.

Sam Tomlinson, PwC said ‘PwC is a neutral independent party committed to delivering a trusted advertising ecosystem that works for all participants, including advertisers, agencies, media owners, and ad-tech. We were delighted at the constructive engagement from all the agencies and the IPA for version two of the ISBA media framework and accompanying guidance notes, and believe they will quickly become a benchmark for global best practice.’

The Media Services Framework version two will be available to all ISBA members from today. It will be discussed as part of the session on the Framework at the ISBA Annual Conference on March 6. On April 17 members will be invited to a teach-in session to assist them in using the Media Services Framework with agencies.



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Abi Slater Director of Communications
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Notes to editors

The Media Services Framework was launched in April 2016 to ISBA members.

ISBA worked closely with their members, expert lawyers and experienced media consultants to surface current key issues. They found that many media agency contracts currently in use were lacking in protection on transparency issues and essential detail, especially around digital matters and in particular click fraud, viewability, verification and brand safety, leaving media agencies without a vital brief on client expectations.

PwC has worked in partnership with ISBA on defining the changes to version two of the Media Services Framework David Bond at Fieldfisher was responsible for the expert drafting skills in turning the complex issues this Framework is trying to address into a sound legal framework,

In June 2017 ISBA carried out a review with members to establish how the Media Services Framework was being used. This identified over £6bn of media spend that had been or was planned to be negotiated using the framework terms. The contract has now been officially adopted by 15 agencies.

About ISBA
ISBA represents the leading UK advertisers. We champion the needs of marketers through advocacy and offer our members thought leadership, consultancy, a programme of capability and networking.

We influence necessary change, speaking with one voice to all stakeholders including agencies, regulators, platform owners and government.
Our members represent over 3000 brands across a range of sectors.

ISBA is a member of the Advertising Association and represents advertisers on the Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice, sister organisations of the Advertising Standards Association, which are responsible for writing the Advertising Codes. We are also members of the World Federation of Advertisers. We are able to use our leadership role in such bodies to set and promote high industry standards as well as a robust self-regulatory regime

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Written 28th February 2018
By Abi Gibbons