State of media audits

What is the current state of play for media audits?

Media auditing has been around for years. Audit companies collecting pools of media rates to then use to compare what rates the media agency is achieving. But this traditional approach to media auditing is flawed and increasingly advertisers are looking for a way to measure and benchmark the value of the media investment. Find out why here in Media Minutes.


DARREN: Welcome to Media Minutes. I am Darren Woolley
STEPHEN: And I am Stephen Wright
DARREN: In the next few minutes we will share with you our view on media audits. What is your opinion of media auditing, Stephen?
STEPHEN: Well there was a time that media auditing, or more particularly, media price benchmarking was all the rage.
DARREN: You mean like last millennium then, Stephen.
STEPHEN: Well, actually yes Darren. Back in the days when media buying was planned ahead like television, newspapers, radio and the like.
DARREN: Sounds like the good ol’ days, Stephen.
STEPHEN: Well it was the good ol’ days for media auditors. Their pools of media buying price data were valuable and allowed advertisers to compare their rates with a pool of similar advertiser.
DARREN: You mean similar advertiser by category?
STEPHEN: Well perhaps. But more likely similar by abroad target-audience, such as ‘all people’ or ‘grocery buyers’ and other demographics.
DARREN: Sounds very scientific. STEPHEN: Well media auditing had its uses. Many advertisers incentivised either media agency to ‘beat the pool’ and buy as cheap as possible. DARREN: But then I guess digital came along, right?
STEPHEN: How did you guess, Darren?
DARREN: Just lucky, I suppose.
STEPHEN: Yes, the digital trading landscape or ecosystem makes this traditional media auditing approach less relevant.
DARREN: In what way, Stephen.
STEPHEN: Real-time bidding, programmatic buying and the ability to target audience against psychographics and behaviours mean that this blanket pool for benchmarking is largely irrelevant.
DARREN: I think I remember the father of media auditing, John Billets’ saying that only a few years back. But media auditing still exists, doesn’t it?
STEPHEN: Well, at TrinityP3, we do not offer pools of media prices, and Accenture announced they were getting out of media auditing, but yes, there are still a few offering media auditing as it was practised last century.
DARREN: Does that mean the death of media auditing then, Stephen?
STEPHEN: You may think so, Darren. But in fact, a new approach to assessing media value has come to the fore and is quickly taking the name and the business from the old school media auditors.
DARREN: What is it, Stephen? What is this new type of media auditing?
STEPHEN: Well that will have to wait for another day. But let’s just say there are more ways to assess the media value being delivered by your media agencies than comparing it to a pool of buying data.
DARREN: Sounds interesting Stephen. And make sure you subscribe to Media Minutes. A weekly snack on all thing’s media. Until then. I’m Darren Woolley, and he’s
STEPHEN: Stephen Wright
TOGETHER: And this is Media Minutes.