Part 5 of a multi-part series on “Going Behind the Media Curtain”
TV stations are great and all, but surely not all of those 1.1 million spots ran correctly. How do we make sure you are getting your money’s worth and the stations are being held accountable for running your spots correctly?
At its simplest level, buying TV spots is the same as any other purchase you make–you only want to pay for what you ordered. As you can imagine, reconciling an average of 92,000 spots every month is a massive undertaking. We have processes in place that hold stations accountable for running your schedules correctly.
Holding Stations Accountable
Spot verification begins with our media software answering three very important questions:
- Did the spots run at the right times?
- Are they at our negotiated rates?
- Are they the correct length?
If an invoice has a spot that doesn’t answer “yes” to those three questions, it is kicked back to the media buyer so they can take it up with the station. This is how we hold stations accountable for running spots correctly.
Our traffic team checks every spot on every invoice to make sure the correct spots are being run in the proper rotation. They might find that a spot that hasn’t been active for a few months randomly started running. Sometimes they find a Social Security spot on a Main schedule. Occasionally, they find spots are running for a completely separate company. If any of these issues are found, they are sent to the media buyer and the station.
All traffic errors are addressed immediately so stations can get back to airing the correct spots as soon as possible. This is how we hold stations accountable for running the correct spots.
Making it Right
Once we let the stations know about issues with an invoice, they get back to us on how they can make it right. Most issues are resolved by us receiving $0 spots that will run as the errant spots were supposed to run. The more spots that run for you, the better! If the station can’t run $0 spots, we credit the problem spots, which means you do not pay for them.
There are also situations that we automatically credit, including any spots that are not yours, spots that run during hiatus weeks, any mass tort traffic errors, and stations that continuously have traffic problems.
The stations have been held accountable!
Holding stations accountable, on your behalf: just one more thing your Media team is doing “behind the media curtain!”