Are you compensating your agencies or remunerating them?

Compensating or remunerating agencies

Now you may think that Compensation is Remuneration, there is really no difference between the two. But it is not so. I stood up on the stage at a procurement conference in Florida about two years ago and stated that there is a difference. One of my US based competitors took exception and stated the two were synonyms and as such could be interchanged without changing the meaning.

You could feel that the audience thought he had me there until I asked “Then did you buy that sports car to compensate or remunerate for your diminished genitalia?” Okay, crude I know, but hopefully Australians can get away with this if we smile nicely and besides I think it makes the point. Please watch and let me know what you think.


It is interesting when talking about how to pay agency fees.

In North America they are inclined to call it Agency Compensation — and the hot topic is Value Based Compensation.

While the English and all of their past colonies are inclined to call it Agency Remuneration.

Now you may think that Compensation is Remuneration, there is really no difference between the two. But it is not so.

You see, if you look up the Webster Dictionary — the official dictionary of the USA, to compensate is to “make good for damage or loss”.

While over at the Oxford Dictionary, the Great Britain equivalent, to remunerate is to “reward for effort or output”. Interesting.

Does this mean that Americans think that when they engage an agency, they are inclined to damage them and cause them loss? So much so that they need to compensate them for this loss?

Meanwhile across the Atlantic the English are busy rewarding their agencies by remunerating them.

Now some have quite unkindly suggested that the Americans prefer compensation, as they are never sure how to pronounce remuneration.

Well to make it clear, it is M before the N as in remuneration, and not re-numeration.
R-E-M-U-N-E-R-A-T-I-O-N — remuneration.
But no matter how you say it, the evidence is that especially in the creative field, rewards work better.

So if you are interested in remunerating your agencies and not just compensating them, at TrinityP3 we can help you.

It is what we specialise in.

And don’t worry, if you say compensation, we wont judge you.
We understand old habits die-hard.

If you think there is a difference between compensation and remuneration and you want to move from the former to the latter let me know. I think it is because we focus on the latter that we have been increasingly successful.

If you do not think there is a difference please let me know why? I am interested as I think language allows us to discuss complex and interesting concepts and is what makes human beings so amazing.

If you see no difference between the two then I hope you enjoy driving your sports car. (But we all know what it is you are compensating).