Don’t trust that the terms and conditions of your ordered media (the “buy”) are followed by terrestrial radio or television stations especially if you have a condition on your buy such as, “No competitive spots can run in the same spot set as this client” or “No competitive spots can run inside this program purchased.” This is because some media groups’ ad inventory is sold to an outside media buying service that buys remnant ads “on the cheap” which a local station actually may not know about, and these spots will run without the local station knowing about it when they check their program logs after the fact (or even before the fact).
Worse, such spots may not even show on the program log itself! I know that seems hard to believe, and it is, but I have been given this excuse on multiple occasions when I have found out that competitive ads did in fact run in violation of the buy’s terms and conditions. One way to be sure you or your client is treated fairly is to subscribe to a “fact-checking” service like Media Monitors. This vendor records all spots for terrestrial radio and TV that it picks up “off the air.” It’s like an air check service so that you can hear and see what happened after the fact. Media Monitors will also show you the program log that lists what actually ran on the station, the time it ran, who ran with the ad, and when and who the other advertisers were in the same time period you bought. The Media Monitors service monitor Mon-Sun 6am to 12 midnight so that you can see every spot that ran on every station and see if you got what was promised.
Never trust a vendor 100% when you are spending your money or someone else’s money. While most media outlets have good intentions, success is in the details, and you should always have a third-party verification method to hold the media accountable whenever you can access a third-party verification tool. Even with sworn affidavits from a TV or Radio station states that the entity performed as promised, there are cases where the promises were in fact not met, and such failure can be very costly to you or to your client, especially when a competitor is running next to or around you and should not be, based on your buy’s terms and conditions.
For a no-charge, no-obligation audit of your media, contact John Haggard here.