The majority of people are very familiar with the creative aspect of the Advertising industry,
yet not many are familiar with the Advertising Media industry and its role in the advertising
process. Consider the value of a brilliant creative execution without it being seen/read or heard
by the right people in the right environment at the right time. It is primarily these functions that an
Advertising Media Agency is responsible for.
The Media Federation of Australia (MFA), is the industry body representing the interests of
its members - Advertising Media Agencies. It is our charter to help increase awareness and
understanding of the industry as well providing better educational opportunities for teachers and
students, hence this practical guideline has been developed with the intention of offering a basic
understanding of the industry, its function and processes.
Understanding how the media process works is not only critical to those wishing to work in
the industry but it is also vital that people in the field of advertising and marketing are familiar with
how the industry works as it has a clear influence on all these functions. When you consider that
$10.4 billion was spent on media placement over a 12 month period in Australia according to the
most recent report published by Commercial Economic Advisory Service Australia (CEASA) and
with around 80% of a marketers budget being allocated to media, knowledge on how the industry
operates is essential.
It is our desire that after reading this guideline the reader will be better informed about the
Advertising Media industry and will see that the industry has many challenging and diverse career
opportunities to offer.
As you progress through this guideline it will become evident that there are specific terms
used throughout. Media does use unique terminology that may not be familiar to the reader,
hence we have included in the Appendix a glossary of the most commonly used terms used. A
more comprehensive listing can be found on the MFA website at www.mediafederation.org.au
About the Media Federation of Australia (MFA)
The MFA is a non-for-profit organisation formed in 1997 with an objective of supporting
those Agencies that specialise in providing services such as media research, strategic planning,
media negotiation and placement.
Today the MFA has 17 members that collectively represent approximately 70% of all
media billings placed by Media Agencies in Australia. These members include:
• Bellamy Hayden
• Carat Australia
• DaVinci Selectwork
• Gap Research
• George Patterson Partners
• Paul McCarthy Advertising
• Starcom Worldwide
• Total Advertising and Communications
• Universal McCann
• White Agency
The MFA would like to acknowledge the support of its various Committee members who
helped to contribute to this guideline.
In addition there has been valuable input and clarification provided by the following
organisations and we thank them for their contribution.
Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia
Commercial Radio Australia
Magazine Publishers of Australia
Nielsen Media Research
Outdoor Marketing Association
Chapter One ADVERTISING MEDIA - An Overview
Chapter Two ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Chapter Three THE PROCESS
Chapter Four MEDIA RESEARCH
Chapter Five THE MEDIA
Chapter Six MARKETPLACE OVERVIEW
MFA TRAINEE PROGRAM
7. AN OVERVIEW
HOW THE INDUSTRY BEGAN
Some years ago, an Advertising Agency was essentially a one stop shop that provided all the services for
developing campaigns, creative concepts and executions including the development of a media plan that
would map out where the campaign would run and how much it would cost. It was not uncommon during these
times for the creative teams to recommend an idea that required the use of a specific media to showcase the
creative concept. With the market demanding greater sophistication in the process to ensure that the message
was seen by the right people in the right environment it quickly became evident that the industry needed a
unique set of skills and resources to deliver these needs. The demand for higher quality intelligence to
effectively identify and target the right audience was rapidly taking the lead as a critical starting point for any
campaign development. With the rising costs of advertising on all media platforms and the increasing
investment by marketers, a smarter way to maximise investment and minimise costs became a critical
business need for marketers to address. Greater negotiation strength and greater efficiency in buying also
become an extremely important consideration for marketers. Consequently the small media departments
departed from the hundreds of different creative agencies to form large independent Advertising Media
agencies. The era of Advertising Media Agency specialists that could offer these core business requirements
to marketers emerged.
WHY MEDIA AGENCIES ARE APPOINTED
An advertiser generally requires the support of specialists to develop an advertising campaign aimed to
deliver their objectives. In most instances this will mean that they appoint an Advertising Agency to assist with
the development of creative concepts and executions and a Media Agency to identify who they should target,
how best to reach them and importantly to maximise their investment through negotiations and effective media
In many instances, a large organisation may recruit several creative agencies to work on various
brands/products or services within their total portfolio, whereas they more commonly appoint only one media
agency to work with all their brands. There are some Media Agencies that specialise purely in a specific area
and therefore a client may appoint two Media Agencies, one to provide planning services and another to
manage the buying process. In the following example, the Marketer will use several different creative agencies
yet only one Media Agency,
Eg. Brand ‘A’ - Creative Agency ‘X’ - Media Agency ‘M’
Brand ‘B’ - Creative Agency ‘Y’ - Media Agency ‘M’
Brand ‘C’ - Creative Agency ‘Z’ - Media Agency ‘M’
In nearly all cases, regardless of the number of Media Agencies appointed to provide the planning
services, a marketer will tend to consolidate all of their buying into the one agency giving them a larger volume
of money to help leverage the negotiation clout of the marketers total spend.
Given the significant investment on media placement, marketers are now realising that in order to
maximise their return on investment, they must possess a solid understanding of the industry. Interestingly,
many now appoint their own Media Controller who is responsible for working alongside the Media Agency
overseeing the operation and monitoring the performance of the agency and their total brand portfolio.
8. AN OVERVIEW .
HOW MEDIA AGENCIES ARE APPOINTED
The most common method for recruiting a Media Agency is through a review process which
the advertiser/marketer conducts. They may elect to review the credentials of several agencies,
which usually includes information such as the agency philosophy, their client listing, media
billings, agency and staff experience within the same category as the briefed client and any unique
research tools and systems that will benefit the client.
The advertiser may develop a short list of agencies and provide them with a specific brief
based on a mock campaign. The agency will respond to this and may also include at this stage
more specific details such as how they would propose to manage the account, what resources and
structure they would put in place and what their revenue fee proposal would be. The successful
agency will generally be appointed for a term of 3 years.
Not all media contracts are put out in the market for pitch as some marketers are satisfied with
the relationship and performance of their existing Media Agency and may well move to renew their
contract without putting it up for competitive pitch. There may also be a situation where the
incumbent agency and marketer implement a due diligence process to ensure that all the key
performance expectations of their contract are been met and that the marketers expectations in the
coming years will continue to be met by the Agency. Providing the outcome is satisfactory to the
marketer, then the incumbent will retain the contract without it being put up for competitive pitch.
HOW AN AGENCY IS REMUNERATED
There is no standard agreement for remuneration as each agency and client situation is
different. The level of remuneration that a Media Agency receives will largely depend on the
service needs of the client as they may choose to only use a portion of the agencies services (ie
planning only). The agreements may also determine that the remuneration is linked to very
specific key performance expectations. Some of remuneration options may include:-
• Percentage Fee. An agreed percentage fee is applied against the total media billings,
therefore any work undertaken by the agency that does not get to booking stage or for any given
reason is cancelled, means that the Agency is not remunerated for the work done.
• Flat Fee: A flat fee arrangement is generally a single agreed figure that is paid to the Media
Agency in monthly instalments. The fee can be based on an estimated level of resources and
• Head Hours: A Head Hour arrangement is commonly based on an agreed cost per hour for
each core function. The cost structure could include a different hourly rate for functions such as
strategic development, media research, implementation planning, media buying, administration,
client servicing etc.
• Performance Incentives: A performance incentive is often applied in addition to one of the
above arrangements. This ensures the agency meets a predetermined set of objectives such as
negotiation results, buying performance, campaign effectiveness, YOY performance
improvements, productivity, client satisfaction reviews etc.
10. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES FUNCTIONS OF A MEDIA AGENCY
In essence, the main function of a Media Agency is to ensure the advertisers message is
being seen, read, or heard by the appropriate people, in the most relevant environment, with an
appropriate level of exposure at a competitive cost. Given the significance of this role, the Media
Agency can play a vital role in shaping the creative brief through influencing who to target and
what communication methods to use.
In order to deliver on these expectations a Media Agency must demonstrate innovation in
their ideas to offer their clients a competitive advantage in the marketplace; efficiency in ensuring
that they undertake extensive investigations into the research of a consumer and their media
habits and importantly to offer accountability by ensuring that their clients investment is maximised
through solid negotiations.
In the majority of cases, a Media Agency is appointed to provide all media services, however
there are instances where a Media Agency is only recruited to provide some of their services. An
example might be where an Advertiser may employ one Media Agency to undertake all their
strategic planning needs whilst appointing another Media Agency to conduct all their media
negotiations and media buying.
The basic range of services provided generally include the following, but are not limited to:
Client Servicing Ensuring all the client’s media needs are met
Research Identifying consumer and media insights
Strategic Planning Identifying a strategy for the communication plan
including what media channels to use/ who to target
Implementation Planning Identifying how best to use the selected media
Rate negotiations Establishing competitive rates
Media Buying Booking the media activity
Monitoring Ensuring activity is tracked and evaluated
Financial Invoicing of all media activity
11. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES FUNCTIONS OF A MEDIA AGENCY
Aside from creative and media agencies, an advertiser/client may appoint many individual
organisations to provide them with the full range of marketing services they require such as Event
organisers, PR companies, Online companies etc. These individual appointments are largely based
on the advertisers evaluation of who can offer them the expertise they are seeking. There are
however, many agencies that are now looking to offer a total package of communication planning
services which in many cases can encompass some,or all of these services.
Below is a demonstration of a conventional plan of organisations that are recruited by the
marketer to provide the required level of service to meet their needs.
12. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES RESOURCES
Whilst job titles and group structures can vary from agency to agency, the following chart is a
generic format that many of the larger Media Agencies adopt. Depending on the size of the agency
there may be several different groups which are headed up by a Group Manager and these
different units are responsible for managing a client or group of clients.
There can also be further breakdowns of these roles to offer specialised knowledge, such as
Online planners and buyers that are dedicated to this area. With the buying function, there may be
several buyers within a group, some may be responsible for one specific media only (I.e.
television) or some may be responsible for only a certain number of products within the client
portfolio. Strategic Directors may also be aligned with certain demographic groups to enhance
their knowledge of certain markets sectors.
Another new trend emerging over recent years is a Trading Director who is assigned to
manage all major negotiations across all of the agency’s clients.
Strategic Investment or
Planner Research Buying Manager
13. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
A summary of the key functions.
Manage and direct the organisation to achieve optimum profitability and effective use of business
assets and human resources. Organise and control major functions relating to the operation and
administration of the organisation through subordinate executives.
Responsible for a group of clients within the media department and for the representative function.
Leads the strategic and investment process across key client business and major projects, by
managing client business on a daily basis, being accountable for group’s output, being responsible
for total management of the group’s accounts and managing staff and time within the group.
Creates strategic media concepts, such as who to target, how to reach them, what media selection
to use etc and then develops plans to most effectively meet the marketing objectives and needs of
the client brief
Assists with provision of data and knowledge collateral for the promotion of insight-driven research.
To ensure optimum results in terms of rate negotiations and buying results of all the media
investments placed by the Agencies buying unit
Manages all client investments through the negotiation process and implementation of all media
Provides general administrative support to all or some of the above functions
15. THE PROCESS AN OVERVIEW
Architects and Builders.
You would not proceed with building an office tower until you consulted an architect to develop
a plan and contracted a buyer to construct the building, well Advertising Media is not that dissimilar.
Consider the task of building this office tower, firstly the architect would need to ensure they
had sufficient knowledge about the environment, the needs of the building and its main purpose and
benefits to tenants, and to identity any potential barriers. Then in considering this information they
would proceed with drafting a plan that would be considerate of the ideal shape and structure,
materials required and estimated costs. These plans would then be submitted for approval to ensure
it met all the requirements. If the plans met approval, then the builder would be briefed on the job
with all the required details of what they needed to build. Along the way, the builder would be trying
to meet the deadlines for construction, ensure the project met the expectations of the plan and
manage costs without compromising the quality. Unlike builders where costs can tend to continually
escalate during the construction, a media buyer must maintain tight control of the budget and not
exceed this figure.
A plan for managing the process is helpful to ensure that all information is considered and
thoughts are investigated with focus always remaining on what needs to be achieved. It is not
uncommon for an Agency to develop their own unique approach to the process for evaluating a brief
and developing a communication solution but as a generic formula, the following process includes
the most common steps taken by many agencies.
Client Briefing: The advertiser/client provides a brief that contains
vital information, knowledge and expectations for their
Strategic Planning: The process for evaluating the key target, most
appropriate mix of media platforms and potential
Implementation Planning: Identifies the most efficient and effective way of using
each media to leverage the opportunities
Media Buying and Negotiating: To book activity with the media and negotiate a
Post Monitoring: Evaluating the performance of campaign against
Invoicing: Generating financial invoices for all booked media
16. THE PROCESS BRIEFING
The quality of the output is very much influenced by the quality of information supplied.
An Advertising Media Agency will require a significant amount of information to assist in
understanding more about the product/brand/service and the reasons for advertising. To ensure
that the Media Agency can meet the expectations of the advertiser, they must have a clear
understanding of why they want to advertise and what they expect to achieve as a result of this.
In an ideal scenario, the advertiser will invest sufficient time to prepare a file of information that
the agency will require to conduct their role effectively. The process of briefing can however be
compromised if an advertiser is faced with a challenge that needs to be addressed immediately. In
such a situation the timing does not allow for any strategic planning and there is a direct need to be
seen/heard/read as soon as possible.
The process of effective briefing would usually involve the client physically presenting their brief
to the Media Agency and to the Creative Agency along with any other key business partners such
as online developers, sales and promotions etc. The brief is usually accepted by the Agency’s
Group Manager and/or Strategic Planner.
The Advertiser needs to consider the amount of effort required to adequately respond to this
brief and allow the Media Agency sufficient time to review the brief, ask further questions and
ultimately respond with a media solution that best meets their needs.
There are some instances where the Advertiser requires the support of the Media Agency to
complete the brief given the research available to the media agency. Such information supplied by
the Media Agency may include an analysis of competitive media activity and identification of key
17. THE PROCESS BRIEFING
The following pages identify critical information required to develop a comprehensive media
Information on measurable objectives such as volume sales, share of market, profitability etc
What the client is trying to accomplish through advertising, Some of these objectives may
• Stimulate / increase awareness / trial
• Maintain / sustain current position: Remind / reinforce
• Introduce / launch a new brand
• Reposition a current brand
• Relaunch a declining brand
• Prevent erosion by a major competitor
• Establish or improve image / reputation
• Change attitude
• Merchandise to the trade
• Support sales force: impress franchisees, employees
• Elicit a direct response:- coupon, sale announcement, write-in offer, etc
Source of Business/targeting
Identifying where the core business will come from in terms of the consumer. This information
includes the identification of the targets and their profiles. These may include:- holding current
brand users, getting current users to increase frequency of use, changing the user profile and
appealing to a different target group, attracting customers from competitive brands, expanding the
category, demographic (age/ sex/ income/ education/ employment/ ethnicity), Psychographics
(lifestyle/outlook/interest/motivations), purchase influence/decision, purchaser vs. end user,
Lifestyle market segments (ie. university students, retired, working etc)
18. THE PROCESS BRIEFING
Key Consumer Response
The desired outcome in terms of thoughts, feelings or actions as a result of seeing/hearing the
“I never thought about trying that brand before but now I might consider it”
“I do trust my brand, but maybe it is time for a change
Product Brand / Category Information
Information that provides a richer understanding of the product and category. i.e.
• Category definition: Competitive brands and competition from related product classes
• Shares / sales / volume: Category / brand / competitor trends
• Interest level - high / low, ie. fashion or cars vs. detergents
• Responsiveness to advertising
• Purchase cycle - users / heavy users
• Life cycle stage for brand i.e. new, mature,line extension
• Awareness / attitude information. Loyalty negativity etc.
• Market expansion opportunities: category penetration, frequency of use, new volume
Competitive Advertising Patterns
Understanding what the competition does in the market, from a media perspective and also a
creative perspective. Information such as where, when, how and what the competitors are
advertising, who they are targeting with their communication and what they are trying to achieve.
The detail of expenditure by media, seasonality, program and title selection and the amount of effort
they are placing in media with their brand/product assists in identifying these patterns of behaviour.
Geographic distribution / sales profile
Understanding the needs to address different geographic locations given the variables. i.e.
• Product distribution, sales, advertising
• National vs. local support priority and requirements
• Data/trends for category/brand/competition in terms of Sales volume/sales factors, market
• Market costs of advertising expenditures and potential
19. THE PROCESS BRIEFING
Considerations to be made for when to advertise can include:
• Product/brand availability
• Sales patterns - quarterly/monthly
• Influencing factors – holidays, weather, promotions
• Spending considerations:
– Leading into peak season
– Meeting new competitive introductions
– Specific sale/promotion period
• Client-mandated quarterly spending constraints
• Cost of media
• Sampling/PR activity/Sales promotion timing
Highlight existing creative work or ongoing creative developments, which should be considered
in media planning (examples of visuals, scripts, creative brief etc should be included)
How much money is budgeted for advertising and media.
20. THE PROCESS STRATEGIC PLANNING
It is the primary function of the planning process to consider all the potential points of influence in
the lives of the consumer and identify innovative, efficient and effective ways to communicate with
them. Armed with some valuable information that has been provided in the briefing process, the
strategist then undertakes the role of an architect in building a framework of ideas and plans.
As you read on, it will become obvious why the media planner plays a critical role in shaping the
advertising campaign and how this process influences the creative development.
The Strategist not only relies upon the valuable information sourced from the brief, but will need
to immerse themselves in research in order to identify areas of opportunity. The starting point is the
consumer – who are they, what inspires or influences their thinking and behaviour, and importantly
what their media habits are. The process of understanding the consumer is far more than a simple
Following is a list of the key functions of Strategic Planning:-
• Target audience profile
• Recommended media(s) based on relevance and impact to target audience
• Strategic idea that leverages knowledge of the target against the task at hand
• The effort required in each media (i.e. TV to reach 60% of the target at least 2 times)
• Geographic variables that may require unique effort or different timing
• Timings for each media
• Estimated costs
21. THE PROCESS STRATEGIC PLANNING
It is vital to have a rich understanding of the consumer and why they make the choices they do,
and how these choices can be influenced. So the planner will immerse themselves in research to
help uncover the potentials and opportunities, along the way many questions need to answered,
questions such as :-
• What makes them different or unique?
• What is their lifestyle and daily routine?
• What are their purchase habits and intentions?
• What is their income band?
• What is their educational background?
• What are their attitudes and opinions?
• What and who inspires or influences them?
• How does the consumer respond to the competitors activity?
• How does the consumer respond to my brand?
• How do they interact with media?
• How do they consume media?
• What is their attitude to different media?
• Where do they go to look for brand information?
The Planner will use a combination of industry and proprietary research and may need to
instigate new studies in order to answer specific questions relating to the brand or service.
Additionally many of the media and their respective industry bodies (such as Magazine Publishers
of Australia, Free TV, Commercial Radio Australia, Outdoor Marketing Australia) conduct adhoc
studies that can enhance knowledge about media consumption and involvement which are also
Creative ideas are built on insights into people, so this information is vital in assisting the
creative process and enabling them to generate ideas that stimulate the appropriate action.
Once the planner has identified the essence of the consumer and their media habits, further
investigation is required to strengthen the knowledge of the consumers interaction with the many
22. THE PROCESS STRATEGIC PLANNING
The opportunities to promote a brand, product or service is rapidly increasing, particularly
with such rapid technological advancements. Technology is having such an influence on
consumers and consequently this has a strong impact on their media habits. The process of
selecting the most appropriate communication vehicle(s) therefore needs to consider further
questions, such as (but not limited to):-
• Which media does my target audience best relate to?
• How does my target interact with the media?
• What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the media that I need to consider?
• What combination of media will work best to achieve my goals?
• How effective is the media in delivering my objectives?
• What percentage of my target audience can the media reach and how fast?
• How efficient is the media in terms of costs?
• What creative implications do I need to consider?
• How affordable are the media options considering my budget?
• How does my competitor use media and how should this influence my media choice?
The list of media channels is not just limited to the mainstream media of television, radio,
magazines, newspapers, cinema and outdoor, the opportunities extend to a huge variety of out of
home/ambient environments, direct mail, email, mobile phones, internet, video games, CDRoms,
merchandise, music, in programs etc. This list continues to grow as rapidly as new technology is
Many advertisers today require a multi media approach using different vehicles and different
creative messages to effectively reach their target consumer and single media campaigns are
declining as a result of the changing behaviour of consumers.
23. THE PROCESS STRATEGIC PLANNING
Media Selection – Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses
Each media has in general terms, many areas of strength and weakness that need to be
considered by the planner. These considerations need to be made bearing in mind all the elements
of the brief and insights into the consumer, so whilst this list may register a strength in a particular
area, it may in fact turn out to be a disadvantage for your specific needs eg. Fashion magazines
may be considered highly cluttered for skincare products, yet this environment may be crucial to be
a part of. Some of these considerations may include the following:
Media Strength Weakness
Television Builds high reach quickly High production cost
Able to target all demographic groups High capital media cost (media)
Geographically selective Difficult to obtain specific programmes short term
Impact through sight, sound and movement Channel surfing
Intrusive (in the home) In the case of Free to Air TV, not a paid for medium
Call to action w ith direct response High level of ad clutter
Highly researched Can’t measure out of home view ing for major events
Programmes can be recorded
Radio Builds frequency quickly Not paid for
Easier to book a campaign at short notice Channel surfing
More accountable - radio surveys Expensive for national coverage
Target specific demographics/psychographics More expensive for a broad target group
Geographically selective Limited creative flexibility (reliant on sound only)
Personal medium Low er reach
More negotiation flexibility w ith added value Reception can be low quality
Low er production costs
Credible environment (talkback)
Magazines National coverage w ith one insertion Longer lead time particularly for monthly magazines
Provides details More difficult to book by regions
Target specific groups e.g. 4w d enthusiasts High level of clutter
High use by w omen Slow to build reach
Most are a paid for Passive
Higher level of involvement Lacks urgency
Creative opportunities e.g. gatefolds, pop-ups
Longevity of advertising
High quality production
Quality image association
New spapers Builds high reach quickly Short lifespan
More detail No readership figures for specific sections
For major metro’s and regional’s, paid for Except for business skew ed papers, requires a
Tailored environments high number to provide national coverage
More accountable / highly researched More difficult to reach younger audiences
Geographically selective Ads can get lost in editorial
Production costs are generally low Colour reproduction quality
Book at short notice
Offers colour to create impact
Negotiable on editorial
Can accommodate coupons/direct response
24. THE PROCESS STRATEGIC PLANNING
Media Selection – Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses
Media Strength Weakness
Static Strong impact More difficult to target specific demographics
Outdoor Mass coverage Higher production costs
Target specific regions Creative execution needs to be simple
Target light users of other medium High “w ear out” if message isn’t changed
Cost effective coverage over a long period Long booking lead time
Best sites are booked out for long periods
Difficult to target in regional markets
Mobile Mass coverage More difficult to target specific demographics
Outdoor Target specific regions Higher production costs
Able to target a number of areas w ith 1 Creative execution needs to be simple
execution High “w ear out” if message isn’t changed
Target light users of other medium Long booking lead time
Cost effective coverage over a long period
Cinema Strong impact w ith sight, sound and High production cost
Paid for medium - cinema goers purchase Slow to build reach
Captive audience Difficult to provide true national coverage
Geographically selective dow n to specific Less accountable - no figures on w ho’s
Targeting light TV view ers, younger audience view ing
Grow ing audience Audience can avoid advertising
Affordable to run longer length ads ie 60 sec Unknow n titles w hen booking long-term
Every element of the media selection needs to have a clear role in the total campaign.
Decisions need to be made on the amount of effort required for each media along with a
recommendation on where and when to use the media. This information is evaluated and
recommendations are submitted to the client, often supported in the format of a media schedule
25. THE PROCESS STRATEGIC PLANNING
Media Scheduling - Reach and Frequency
Depending on the objectives of the campaign, the planner evaluates the needs and
recommends how much effort is required in order to get the appropriate consumer response over a
given period of time. This effort is reported as a reach figure (either in total thousands of people
within the target market group or as a % of the total people within the defined target market group).
Some example variations of the type of reach levels you may consider might vary from the
lower end – a highly anticipated event such as the promotion of tickets to a U2 concert may require
very low levels of reach as the majority of the potential market will already be aware of the
upcoming event. Then on the other end of the scale you may have a Myer 3 day sale so you will
probably want to reach as many people as possible in a short space of time in order to achieve the
As such a frequency level needs to be established ie. how often does the target market need to
see the message in order to respond accordingly. There are many areas of consideration here that
can influence this decision, such as the share of market vs competitors; share of noise vs
competitors; current level of awareness of the advertised item; level of interest in the category;
whether the message is new information to the consumer; what other level of marketing support will
the product have; the strength of the creative message and its ability to break through the clutter;
the strength of the media in allowing the advertised item to stand out; the length of time that the
campaign needs to run for. These are only a few of the considerations that need to be taken into
An example of the extremes in frequency levels may vary with a TVC campaign, as an
example, the well established I-Pod, may require very few reminders as the brand is solid and the
message is easily understood and recognised. Whereas you may have a car insurance commercial
for a new competitor in the market that will require more frequency to break through the clutter, to
allow sufficient time to explain why they are better than their competitors and finally to allow
consumers enough time to digest the information and respond accordingly.
All of these decisions need to also consider the point of diminishing returns – where further
exposure and investment is not generating the level of response to justify the activity. There is also
a consideration that too much exposure can in fact create a negative response to the brand,
particularly so in this day of advertising savvy consumers.
After all this investigation the planner will then recommend a level of Reach and Frequency.
60% 3+ (This essentially means that the objective of the campaign is to reach 60% of the target
market at least 3 times) or
70% 2+ (objective being to reach 70% of the target market at least 2 times)
26. THE PROCESS STRATEGIC PLANNING
Media Scheduling - Flighting
Decisions on scheduling needs to consider when each media should be active and for how
long. Many common strategies will see the first ‘burst’ of activity over a number of weeks with
generally higher weights (Reach and Frequency) than the following weeks. Often the mix of media
is selected to run at different intervals to allow more longevity of the campaign.
Some of the considerations for determining the flow of activity will take into account
brand/product seasonality, consumer purchase decisions, competitive activity and estimates on
when they might be advertising, the budget that is afforded for each media, the objectives of the
campaign to generate the desired response within a given time period.
Example Media Schedule
Client: Brand X
Target Audience Men 16-24
January February March
Creative Format Estimated Cost 1 8 15 22 29 5 12 19 26 5 12 19 26
60% 3+ 50% 2+ 50% 2+
Television 30 seconds $ 2,500,000
Magazines Full Page Colour $ 120,000
Radio 30 seconds $ 250,000
Total Cost $ 2,870,000
The media markets are generally categorized by state and then by metropolitan and regional
markets. The selection of a media platform such as television, doesn’t assume a full national
exposure unless you specifically buy each market individually. The primary exceptions to this are
magazines and the internet which are most often bought nationally due to their national
distribution/coverage. More information is provided in Chapter 5 on the various media markets.
Many advertisers may have different needs in each market influenced by brand performance,
CDI/BDI, product distribution, levels of awareness, influence of competition, varying seasonality
trends and of course the audience potential. The level of activity and the selection of media
therefore may vary by market/region. In some instances an advertiser may be looking at a test
campaign to launch a product and to gauge the consumers reaction before rolling out nationally or
there may be trade issues in a certain region that require extra effort. These many variables will
influence the final distribution and selection of activity in each market
27. THE PROCESS STRATEGIC PLANNING
The Media Agency prepares a consolidated presentation of all the key insights and
opportunities along with a proposed media schedule to gain approval before proceeding to the
Implementation Planning stage.
The approval process needs to ensure that the client is in agreement that all the
recommendations consider and address the expectations of the campaign before any further
progress is made. The benefits of obtaining this interim approval allows each party to consider the
direction that is being taken at a certain point before progressing with specifics that may not be
appropriate. For example if the client does not agree firstly with the target audience
recommendation then the rest of the plan is redundant until a review of these recommendations
takes place, likewise if the advertiser specifically is not in agreement with a certain media choice,
lets say newspapers as an example – perhaps influenced by a previous experience – then the
process for drilling into the performance of individual titles and the environments they offer is also
Specific approvals will cover the following elements:-
• Target audience
• Media channel selection
• Reach and Frequency goals
• Geographic selections and priorities
Following an agreement to proceed, the agency then needs to undertake the task of
implementation planning to help determine how best to use each media and leverage opportunities
within each. There are some situations where the implementation process is absorbed into the
strategic planning process.
28. THE PROCESS IMPLEMENTATION PLANNING
If strategic planning is about identifying innovative, efficient and effective ways to communicate
with the consumer, then the implementation process is about ensuring the message is placed in the
right environment and the right time at the best cost. The process of implementation planning is to
bring the strategic plan to life with specifics and recommendations on how to implement the activity
and to develop a final estimate of costs.
Examples of the recommendations and functions of this process include the following:-
• genre of TV programs
• magazine or newspaper titles and specific sections
• radio stations
• bus and road routes
• cinema complexes
• online sites
Period – best time to reach them
• day of week
• time of Day (in media terms we refer to Day parts)
• preferred size and shape of creative material
• proposed cost by media/market to deliver the final plan
• maximising negotiations to get the best value
A final media plan including a recommendation on the above is then submitted to the client for
Aside from creative sizing and costs, magazines and newspaper plans will usually include a list
of titles and issue dates, radio will include station combinations and dayparts, cinema may include
titles and number of cinemas, Outdoor will generally include the number of sites and formats by
region. Television is generally less specific with this plan outlining dayparts and program genres with
perhaps a list of preferred programs. It will not include a full listing of all the programs as this is not
possible to advise until the buying process has been completed and all programs have been checked
for their availability.
29. THE PROCESS BUYING
Once all the approvals have been submitted the buying team is briefed on the recommendations and final
plan. There are three main steps in this process
This is where the buying team familiarises themselves with the needs of the plan and considers all
potential opportunities that could leverage the activity (either through better placement or better rates). It is quite
often during this stage that a group of people from the agency will participate in a brainstorming session to help
maximise ideas for implementing the plan.
There is a large amount of media research that will help the buying process, information on the
performance of individual programs against a target group, the number of readers for a print title for a target
group, the performance of radio stations at different times of the day etc.etc.
As with all research, the information is historical and whilst this is helpful in identifying trends, it does not
guarantee what may take place in the future. Therefore the buyer must be very aware of all the upcoming
opportunities that may influence their decision. For example if the planner was aiming to buy a 30 second spot
on television in program ‘A’ – yet at the same time another channel is televising the Olympics Opening
Ceremony (where most of their target will be watching) you can’t expect program ‘A’ to deliver the same results
as it has in the past. This scenario is played out across all markets in every week against a variety of different
program formats. Equally other media also runs special features/events so the buyer must be armed with all the
information about each media and their upcoming plans to assist them making their purchase decisions.
Type of information to be gathered when preparing for a buy are as follows:
• Television program formats
• Television program availability lists (to show which programs are available to purchase)
• Ratings/Audience information for the target market group
• Rate card information
• List of special features in print titles and special events in other media eg survey promotions
• List of major events and holiday periods (this may influence viewing patterns)
• Details of sports schedules for television, radio, print and the internet
30. THE PROCESS BUYING
The buying team are then responsible for securing all the bookings with the media
representatives and ensuring that all the recommendations and placement requirements are met. It is
also the responsibility of the buying team to look at ways to leverage negotiations in order to save
money for the advertiser, but not at the expense of compromising the strategy.
The steps that are taken to buy a campaign will vary from media to media with television taking
a larger amount of time as each individual commercial spot needs to be selected for every market.
The objective of a campaign may be to purchase 100 TARPS (a term used to describe the
performance of a specific program against a specific target audience – descriptions provided in the
Appendix). The buyer then needs to buy a selection of programs to build the schedule as close as
possible to this 100 TARPS. The following chart provides an example of how a television schedule is
built and the selection must take into account things such as the program environment and
compatibility to the product and strategy, the cost of the program and performance of the program.
Example Television schedule
Network Program Name Timeslot Cost Tarp
3 News 1800-1830 $ 2,400 12
3 Husband Swap 1930-2000 $ 6,500 15
5 Animal Adventures 2030-2130 $ 4,800 13
5 Movie 2030-2230 $ 5,210 15
6 News 1800-1830 $ 2,705 12
6 Grammy bloopers 2130-2230 $ 2,680 18
5 Crime Busters 2030-2230 $ 3,100 7
8 Cricket 1800-2230 $ 6,500 10
TOTAL $ 33,895 102
The buyer then summarises all the bookings for each Network and then processes the
bookings to the Networks and await for confirmation that all spots have been accepted as requested.
Television advertising has a restriction on advertising minutes per hour, so as they have a limited
inventory of spots to sell, an Agency may process a booking where the Network cannot confirm all
placements. In this situation the buyer then needs to revisit the plan and identify alternative
placement(s) options and resubmit to the Network for acceptance of this booking.
31. THE PROCESS BUYING
Newspaper and magazine titles are usually selected at the implementation planning stage so
the buyer usually assesses all titles in order to determine the best selection to meet the strategic
requirements. The criteria for selection usually includes assessment against various elements
including genre, cost efficiency, reach, appropriate content, frequency of publication etc. Once
selected the buyer will seek approval from the client and then follow the instructions given within the
strategy and process the bookings with the media representative of each publication. The buyer may
also be required to identify the best positioning within the title and negotiate for the placement of the
ad to appear within their preferred environment. They will also at this stage try to leverage any value-
added opportunities such as editorial.
Example Magazine Booking
Title Cover Date Issue Date Size Position Cost
Outdoor Adventures March Feb-20 Full Page Colour Camping feature $2,500
At Home March Feb-24 Half Page Colour Gardening section $4,800
Example Magazine Booking
Title Cover Date Issue Date Size Position
Outdoor Adventures March Feb-20 Full Page Colour Camping feature
At Home March Feb-24 Half Page Colour Gardening section
The strategic planning process will identify the required reach and frequency of the radio
schedule against a specified demographic and it is then the job of the buyer to select the preferred list
of stations and number of spots to be bought and usually this information will include details on the
number of spots per session/day. Again with client approval the buyer will then process the bookings
to these instructions.
Example Radio Booking
Station Week Commencing Length Spots Session Costs
2AAB Feb-16 30 sec 10 Breakfast $3,000
2AAB Feb-16 30 sec 2 Morning $ 500
2AAB Feb-16 30 sec 5 Drive $ 2,600
2AAB Feb-16 30 sec 15 Evenning $3,100
Other media generally requires the specific details of where and when to be advised along with
placement considerations and negotiated rates that are applicable
3. Managing Outcomes
The buyer is responsible for ensuring that budget levels are not exceeded and that campaign
objectives (ie Reach and Frequency) are delivered.
32. THE PROCESS MONITORING
Once all the activity has been booked, specific steps are taken to track all the activity that was
booked to ensure it did in fact appear as requested and that it delivered the performance
Monitoring needs to take place as soon as possible after activity has appeared in order to
rectify any potential issues. A television campaign for example may not be delivering the goals
expected as a certain program has rapidly declined in performance during your campaign period. The
sooner a problem is identified, the sooner a solution can be found.
Likewise if a commercial didn’t go to air as booked, then compensation can be negotiated and
a replacement spot can be scheduled as soon as possible. There can be many variables that
influence the final results and the buyer needs to be aware of the changing conditions in order to
improve the situation.
Example situation: If 100 Tarps were bought and expected to be delivered for a TV schedule in
a given week and three spots were placed in News during the week, each expecting to deliver 10
Tarps each (ie Total 30 Tarps), yet in the monitoring process it was noted that the three spots
collectively only delivered 15 Tarps, this resulted in the week of activity underperforming by 50%.
The buyer would then investigate options to possibly reschedule any further activity out of this
program and into another program, if they felt that the trend was likely to continue.
33. THE PROCESS INVOICING
When the buyer makes their booking, each placement is recorded on a computer system and
from here the finance department has the relevant information to generate client invoices.
Generally TV and Radio will be invoiced on a week commencing date, whereby all activity that
appeared in a specific week will be billed during one month (ie if a week commencing date is say
March 31 yet all the activity appeared from Tuesday onwards, the activity will still be invoiced to the
client as a March cost even though the majority of activity appeared in April).
Print is invoiced based on the actual date of insertion (or issue date), it is not uncommon that a
magazine for example with a cover date of February will be available on the shelves in mid January,
therefore the issue date is January and this is when the activity is billed. There are some variations
on these themes but generally this is the practice.
35. MEDIA RESEARCH AN OVERVIEW
Research plays a vital role in the media process and it is commonly the second largest cost to a
Media Agency after salaries. Millions of dollars are invested every year on media research that is
either a) proprietary to an individual agency or b) off the shelf media research available in the market.
The advertiser can provide a wealth of information on their product/service/brand. However, to
develop a solid strategic idea to answer their marketing and advertising needs, a much richer
understanding of consumers and their behaviour is required, particularly with regards to their media
Media research can either be qualitative, which is more about the process of behavioural patterns or it
can be quantitative which is primarily concerned with the statistical relevance of various kinds of
behaviour. Essentially Qualitative is ‘Why’ and Quantitative is 'What' or 'How Many'.
The better the quality of research that a Media Agency has access to, the better equipped they are in:
• enhancing the quality of the brief to give a comprehensive platform of knowledge about the brand,
consumers, competitors, marketplace
• producing key insights on consumers, their behaviour and media habits therefore enabling the
planner to provide strategic recommendations supported by research findings
• identifying the most appropriate media channels to consider when targeting the consumer
• Identifying the most effective media supplier. ie. station, publisher, broadcaster, etc
• identifying the most effective way of using the media. ie. what day, time, week, program, title etc
• tracking the performance of the campaign
On the following pages we have identified some of the most widely used, off-the-shelf industry
research that is used regularly by media planners and buyers.
36. MEDIA RESEARCH AN OVERVIEW
The following chart provides a snapshot of the various companies that provide media research
measurement for the industry and the format in which the information is gathered.
Each of the research companies have independent websites which provide comprehensive
information about their process and services.
Ticket ABC Audits
MPDAA Cinema CAB
Roy Morgan Face to Face
Internet Radio Interviews
37. MEDIA RESEARCH TELEVISION
AGB Nielsen Media Research
Provides the system that captures television audience measurement (TAM) data in Australia for
metropolitan and regional markets as well as for subscription television.
Owns the data collected by AGB and is the official source for television audience measurement
(TAM) data for metropolitan free to air networks and nationally for subscription television. The data is
used by television networks and media agencies and provides information on over 100
demographics, minute by minute, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The process first involves a panel selection of 3035 households that are recruited via an
establishment survey which defines the population to be represented and its characteristics. The
survey is conducted via telephone interviews throughout the year. In managing the recruitment
process and monitoring turnover, the panel is aimed to be an accurate representation of the
Once a household has been recruited, a people meter is connected to all television sets in the house.
The meter records and stores time, date, television set on/off, channel to which each television set is
tuned, and who is viewing. All residents and guests register their television usage using a remote
Every night the data is retrieved automatically via modem telephone software and the production
system performs the collection, processing, validation, weighting and final production of each
Once the production processes have been completed, the television program information and ratings
are integrated. Results are released the following morning and the data is made available to
subscribers via a website.
Examples of some of the information that Media Agencies can generate from the database are
summarised on the following page:
RegTam follows the same principles for the five regional aggregated markets and 19 sub markets.
Nielsen Media Research
For smaller independent markets such as Regional WA, Darwin, Pt Pirie/Broken Hill, Riverand, Mt
Gambier, Remote Central & East, Mildura and Griffith, a diary system is used that records weekly
data across a 4 week average and this is recorded against 18 demographics.
38. MEDIA RESEARCH TELEVISION
Some of the analysis reports that Media Agencies will use regularly include Audience Share and
Share of Audience either by station (ie. ATN 7 Sydney, TCN 9 Sydney, TEN10 Sydney) or as a
National total taking into account all 5 metropolitan Networks (ie. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane,
Adelaide and Perth) for the 5 free to air Networks (ie. Seven Network, Nine Network, Ten
Network, SBS and ABC)
The following example provides the share of audience information at a Station and Network level.
This exampe is based on data collected from one week against the demographic of All People,
for all viewing in the time period Sunday – Saturday from 6pm – 11.59pm. Many buyers will be
more interested to see this level of information at a demographic level, this way they can identify
the stations/networks which have a stronger skew to the people they are targeting.
Network 5 City Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Perth
ABC 11.8 11.4 12.4 10.4 12.0 13.6
SEVEN 22.3 21.2 22.7 20.7 23.1 26.5
NINE 26.1 25.7 26.2 26.2 28.6 25.0
TEN 19.2 18.4 20.4 16.2 21.4 21.2
SBS 4.3 4.5 4.1 3.9 4.6 4.4
From these results, it shows that Channel Seven held the highest share of All People viewing in Perth
yet Channel Nine dominated in all other markets
39. MEDIA RESEARCH TELEVISION
Program performance data provides the actual audience figures for a specific program in a specific
market. This information can be drilled down to a micro level considering minute by minute
rating performance movement, or at a macro level which will look at the programs average
performance on the day or over a number of weeks.
The following example provides a listing of the top rating shows for All People in one specific week.
The figures represent the average number of people (represented as 000s) that watched the
Program 5 City Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Perth
News 1,930 561 496 421 244 208
Australian Idol 1,905 578 643 280 196 208
Frasier Finale 1,837 485 563 397 185 207
60 Minutes 1,754 513 541 319 166 215
HouseWed 1,619 408 542 325 169 175
From these results, Australian Idol recorded strongest audience numbers in Melbourne and Sydney
compared to the other programs yet in Brisbane and Adelaide it was the News that rated highest
and 60 Minutes was the strongest program in Perth.
There is a rich database of information that Media Agencies can drill into to assist them in evaluating
different situations. The outcome of this analysis can help steer the planning process and has a
strong influence on the buying process.
40. MEDIA RESEARCH RADIO
Nielsen Media Research
Nielsen Media Research is the official contractor for radio audience surveys in all markets throughout
Australia, providing listening data for radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and
Perth, eight times per year. Regular surveys are also conducted in Newcastle, Canberra, Wollongong
and Gold Coast. Other regional markets are surveyed on an annual or bi-annual basis.
Nielsen Media Research's diary system is based on personally-placed and collected diaries, where
the listener records their habits over a seven day period with quarter hour listening acknowledged by
a pre-list of stations. Listening to other non-prelisted stations is captured by the respondent in the
‘Other FM’ or ‘Other AM’ section, also by quarter hour.
Primarily, Advertising Media agencies use the information provided by Nielsen Media Research to
help determine the size and share of audience each station attracts across a broad range of
demographics and the particular performance of each station at different times of the day. This
information helps a planner to decide which station(s) to choose in order to reach the right people and
it also assists in deciding what time of the day offers the greatest opportunity in reaching more of the
The following chart provides the average station share of audience over a week against different age
segments. For example, Nova 96.9 recorded the highest average audience for People 18-24 in this
survey and 2DAY recorded the highest average audience for People 25-39:
Monday-Sunday Share by Age Group 5.30am - 12 midnight
10-17 18-24 25-39 40-54 55+
1170 - 2CH 0.2 1.3 0.3 3.4 13.8
2GB 0.9 1.6 5.3 8.8 26.4
2UE 1.5 5.5 3.8 7.7 16.2
2DAY 25.0 19.2 15.1 6.5 0.8
MIX 106.5 16.3 7.7 11.4 11.2 2.0
2MMM 12.5 15.1 15.0 9.0 1.0
NOVA 96.9 18.1 20.7 13.6 3.8 0.6
WSFM 4.0 7.2 5.3 16.8 7.2
ABC702 1.5 0.7 4.5 10.9 12.4
2RN 0.1 3.2 1.5 2.5 3.0
NEWSR 0.7 0.1 1.6 1.6 1.9
2JJJ 1.7 5.2 8.4 2.3 0.6
ABCCL-FM 0.1 0.3 1.5 2.2 4.6
Source: Nielsen Media Research
41. MEDIA RESEARCH RADIO
Nielsen Media Research
The following chart reports the share of total audience (aged 10+) against different dayparts. In this
example, the station that generated the highest audience on average over the week during the
Breakfast timeslot of 5.30am – 9.00am is 2GB with 16.5%:
Monday - Friday (All People 10+) Share by Session
Sydney Survey from 2005
5.30am - 9.00am - 12noon - 4.00pm - 7.00pm -
9.00am 12 noon 4.00pm 7.00pm midnight
1170 - 2CH 4.6 6.3 5.8 4.6 5.0
2GB 16.5 13.7 9.3 8.4 12.0
2UE 8.2 10.1 9.2 9.2 10.2
2DAY 8.5 9.0 9.9 10.4 9.6
MIX 106.5 7.2 7.6 8.7 8.4 11.6
2MMM 7.9 9.0 11.3 11.4 7.4
NOVA 96.9 8.6 7.4 8.4 8.7 6.9
WSFM 8.8 10.1 10.9 7.5 6.9
ABC702 10.1 6.5 5.6 8.6 7.8
2RN 2.9 1.8 1.4 2.9 2.3
NEWSR 2.2 0.7 0.6 1.2 2.9
2JJJ 2.4 3.8 4.5 4.6 3.0
ABCCL-FM 1.4 2.5 2.3 3.1 2.7
Source: Nielsen Media Research
42. MEDIA RESEARCH PRINT
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is a market research company that provides Australian readership data from
a survey sample of around 55,000 people in Australia over a 12 month period. The survey is
conducted nationally, via face-to-face interviews at the respondents' home with people aged
14+. Data is then weighted to ABS (Audit Bureau of Statistics) population data to provide estimated
numbers in thousands for a range of demographic, psychographic and product purchase variables.
Readership figures are released quarterly and are based on a 12 month rolling database
Through this survey, Roy Morgan can also produce information on consumers and their lifestyle,
attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema,
catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail
visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities.
The system is single source whereby all the information is gathered via direct questions to an
The information that is provided by Roy Morgan allows the Media Agency to perform a variety of
evaluations including the following as a minimum:
• understanding consumer behaviour and habits
• identifying media habits and media usage
• analysing preferred magazine and newspapers titles
• identifying product usage
• identifying trends
43. MEDIA RESEARCH PRINT
Roy Morgan Research
The following chart lists the Top 20 magazine titles for the 12 months from April 2005 – March 2006.
This listing is ranked against Total People and the readership profile can be further analysed by
looking at the percentage of readers that are either Male/Female or where they fall within the
demographic profile. The variables you can analyse this information against is very large and you
can profile all titles against a more specific demographic group or against certain lifestyle or product
purchase points. For example you can find out how many readers of Woman’s Day are planning to
buy a car in the next 2 years and then compare this profile to other titles.
ROY MORGAN SINGLE SOURCE AUSTRALIA : APR 2005 - MAR 2006
TOTAL Men Wom en 14-24 25-34 35-49
ALL MAGAZINES 000's % % % % % %
TOTAL Motoring Club Magazines 3515 55.1 44.9 5.6 10.6 28.9 54.8
Woman's Day 2746 20.7 79.3 19.9 16.2 26.6 37.4
Women's Weekly 2706 22.4 77.6 13.7 15.5 28.2 42.5
New Idea 2304 20.3 79.7 19.1 16.3 25.3 39.3
Sunday Magazine (NSW/Vic) 2203 41.4 58.6 13.2 15 31.7 40.1
Good Weekend (NSW/Vic) 1799 47.5 52.5 10.2 17.2 30.8 41.8
Sunday Life (NSW/Vic) 1399 43.7 56.3 10.7 15 29.6 44.8
Better Homes and Gardens 1396 28.5 71.5 6.8 14.5 31 47.7
Open Road (NSW) 1396 56.5 43.5 5.3 10.5 30 54.2
Sunday Telegraph TV Guide (NSW) 1390 48.8 51.2 19.6 15.8 26.1 38.4
Sunday Mail TV Guide (Qld) 1275 49.1 50.9 17.8 14.9 27 40.3
TV Week 1169 39.6 60.4 32.9 17.3 20.7 29.1
That's Life 1155 21.1 78.9 18.4 18.4 25.5 37.6
Sunday Herald Sun TV Guide (Vic) 1141 46.6 53.4 18.3 15 29.1 37.7
Foxtel Magazine 1073 51.2 48.8 19.1 17 31.4 32.4
Australian Reader's Digest 966 46.2 53.8 13 13.8 25 48.2
Source: Roy Morgan Research
44. MEDIA RESEARCH PRINT
There are two audit bureaus in Australia that provide independent figures on how many copies of a
title is circulated in the marketplace. Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) and Circulations Audit
Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC)
Audits ’paid for’ newspapers and magazines. An ABC audit verifies the paid circulation of a
publication over a defined audit period. The audit verifies and reports the average number of copies
sold per issue, the number of issues audited in the period, the cover price, any exclusions from audit
and the publishing frequency of each publication.
There are four audit periods i) January – March ii) April – June iii) July - September iv) October -
December . This covers all newspapers, magazines, and newspaper inserted magazines that have a
circulation in excess of 25,000. All other titles are audited twice a year with a publisher statement
also provided twice a year.
Planners and Buyers will review this information to see the actual number of copies sold and the trend
of its performance over different survey periods. For example, from the following report, it would
appear that ‘Australian Country Threads’ has been increasing since 2003, whereas ‘Australian Family
Circle’ has been slowly declining over the same period. The decision to choose any title may be
based on the overall numbers and highest volume of sales or on environment or conversely given the
decline there may be concerns that readers are losing interest in the title and therefore another option
may be preferred.
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations
45. MEDIA RESEARCH PRINT
Circulations Audit Bureau (CAB)
CAB Audits were set up primarily to audit business, trade and technical publications and suburban
Most CAB titles are distributed in a subscription, controlled circulation or free basis
A CAB audit verifies the total average distribution of a publication over a defined audit period. Every
copy within the defined six or twelve month period is verified to produce the Average Net Distribution
of an issue. The audit verifies and reports the average net distribution per issue, highlighting the
printing and method of distribution, number of issues and the publishing frequency of each
There are two audit periods, April to September and October to March.
46. MEDIA RESEARCH ONLINE
AC Nielsen NetRatings
Nielsen//NetRatings offers a suite of online measurement tools including the following:
• Market Intelligence
The largest independent Census based measurement of audited websites within specific industries
that records global and domestic site traffic. Key metrics include unique browsers, page
impressions, average frequency, page duration, session duration. Data captures on daily, weekly
and monthly near real time.
• Ad Relevance
Provides online competitive monitoring including the tracking of expenditure, details of sites being
used, the creative executions, campaign frequency and number of impressions reached.
Provides a perspective on the online consumer, with analysis of consumer behaviour, trends and
• Web R&F
Calculates audience reach and frequency for online campaigns
Roy Morgan, as referred to previously, has an Asteroid product which provides a range of
information that can answer questions such as:
– Attitudes to new technology
– How long has my target been online?
– What are they using the internet for?
– Where are they more likely to access the internet from?
– What types of sites are they visiting?
Source: Nielsen NetRatings
47. MEDIA RESEARCH ADVERTISING EXPENDITURE
Nielsen Media Research
Nielsen Media Research monitors advertising activity in Australia, providing the industry currency for
advertising expenditure estimates and volume measurement across all mainstream media including
Free TV, newspapers, consumer magazines, radio, cinema and outdoor. Additionally, information is
also available on business to business publications and direct mail.
A media agency can use this data to identify and track activity of competitive advertisers. The
information can be viewed at a total category level (i.e. Food), Company level (i.e. Nestle) and then
down to a Brand (i.e.. Maggi) and Product level (i.e..Liquid Gravy). Subscribers can, as a minimum:
• Determine competitor strategies in terms of what media they used, when they advertised, what time
time periods, what stations/titles used, how much was spent.
• Demonstrate geographic and seasonal variation in expenditures;
• Develop a complete picture of what market leaders are doing in a category and identify niche
• Understand how competitors view their target audience, profile their brand and how they seek to
position themselves in the market;
• Estimate the advertising cost required to take a new product to market, through illustrating the
budget required to launch and sustain a brand;
• Track new product launches;
• Analyse the effectiveness of a specific strategy;
• Establish the best schedule timing to maximise the efficiency of the media spend.
The following example shows a summary of competitive expenditure within a specified category and
shows how much the category and products spent in each media. From this example it would appear
that magazines are the major focus.
ALL MEDIA NATIONAL SUMMARY (EXAMPLE ONLY)
Total Metro TV Regional TV Mags Radio Cinema Outdoor
(000s) (000s) (000s) (000s) (000s) (000s) (000s) (000s) (000s)
Product A 54 11 5 2 22 12 1 1
Product B 21 7 1 13
Total 75 18 6 2 0 35 12 1 1
48. MEDIA RESEARCH ADVERTISING VERIFICATION
Nielsen Media Research
The depth of information that looks at specific placement of your own client and that of the
competitors can be investigated through various spot monitoring reports. These reports are
available for metropolitan and regional TV, radio and print.
Spot monitoring reports are used to verify that your own client’s activity has gone to air/appeared
correctly in terms of timing, placement and that the correct key number/material was scheduled.
Additionally, evaluating the placement of activity can assist in understanding who the competitors
might be trying to reach. It is this spot monitoring data that is used to determine the total aggregate
estimated expenditures discussed previously. Some example spot reports follow:
Metropolitan Television Spot Report - Sydney (EXAMPLE ONLY)
Product Station Duration Key Number Day Date Time Program
Product A ATN 7 15 seconds PA0630 Thu 4/09/2005 9.14pm For Love or Money
PA0630 Sun 7/09/2005 11.43am Rugby Zone
PA0630 Mon 8/09/2005 6.15am Sunrise
TCN 9 15 seconds PA0630 Sun 31/08/2005 10.47am Sunday
PA0630 Tue 2/09/2005' 7.43pm DIY Rescue
PA0630 Wed 10/09/2005 11.23pm Nightline
TEN 10 15 seconds PA0630 Tue 2/09/2005 5.40pm News
Sydney Television: Total 7 spots
Radio Spot Report - Sydney (EXAMPLE ONLY)
Product Station Duration Key Number Day Date Time
Product A 2MMM 30 second PAR032 Mon 10/11/2005 5.21am, 6.59am, 7.25am, 10.55am
PAR032 Tue 11/11/2005 8.25am, 1.35pm, 6.28pm, 9.45pm
PAR032 Wed 12/11/2005 5.45am, 9.02am, 4.38pm, 11.08pm
PAR032 Thu 13/11/2005 8.05am, 9.15am, 11.48am, 3.49pm
PAR032 Fri 14/11/2005 10.09am, 11.48am, 4.55pm, 7.08pm
Sydney Radio Total 20 spots
Magazine Spot Report - Women's General (EXAMPLE ONLY)
Product Publication Issue Page Position Colour Section Key Number
Product A New Idea Mon 27/1/05 99/100 IBC 4 Colour Run of Book PAM043
Product B New Idea Mon 17/11/05 27/116 Full Page 4 Colour Run of book PBM043
Women's General Total 2 spots: Expenditure $35,920
49. MEDIA RESEARCH MEDIA INSIGHTS
Nielsen Media Research
Panorama is another product offered by Nielsen Media Research. It provides consumer and media
insights by combining media habits, lifestyles, attitudes and product consumption and collected from
a national sample of 34,000 people.
This system adopts a fusing process that utilises:
• OzTAM audience ‘currency’ data for TV
• Nielsen Media audience ‘currency’ data for Radio and
• Audience data for other media captured from the Panorama questionnaire.
50. RESEARCH PROPRIETARY RESEARCH
All major Media Agencies not only subscribe to a large offering of industry research (some of which
have been reported on the previous pages) but they will also invest heavily in providing their own
With the rapid pace of change with media options and consumer usage, there is a significant
increase in the amount of multi tasking and simultaneous media use like watching TV while flicking
through a magazine, using the internet with the radio on, texting with the radio on etc. The situation
will continue to divide consumers attention as rapidly as new technology and media options are
made available. Industry research tends to focus in a single media and does not adequately take
into account consumer and media fragmentation, hence the increased need for proprietary systems.
Proprietary research allows an agency to create their own database of consumers, brands and
media interaction points and assists in answering questions about the relationship between all
A consistent question that marketers are seeking an answer to is how do they ‘engage’ their brand
with the consumer. As each brand has its own unique qualities, the relationship with the consumer
can only be understood by conducting specific research studies.
52. THE MEDIA AN OVERVIEW
All media is planned and bought in different ways as they each have a unique structure, format,
descriptors and rate structure.
For example placement descriptions, TV and Radio is planned considering the zones or dayparts
that are preferred, whereas for Print the placement areas are called sections.
The geographic coverage areas are also quite different, for example with TV and Radio, you have a
set of stations that fall into the Metro region or Regional region, but a Metro region doesn’t actually
assume all Capital Cities but refers to the city regions of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide
and Perth. All other markets fall under the Regional category.
The formats in how you buy the media influences the cost and sometimes can influence where the
message is placed.
The rates and costs to advertise may be fixed over a period of time or can fluctuate depending on
the demand for advertising in the market. For example print rates are generally fixed over a period
of 12 months until they apply their next rate increase, so regardless of which issue you want to be
in, the rate will the same throughout this period. However with TV, whilst a rate structure is
negotiated at the beginning of the year, the rates throughout the year do vary, so if you buy a spot in
the News in say April then another one in July, the cost for the July spot will usually be higher as
there is generally higher viewing during the winter months.
The following pages will provide a brief summary of these key variations and considerations that a
Media Agency needs to be fully aware of when undertaking their planning and buying.
53. THE MEDIA TELEVISION
Markets Metro markets include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth with
Seven, Nine and Ten operating in these regions so individual spots need to be
booked for each market. National operators include SBS and Pay TV so one
booking will be televised across all markets. ABC is also National but is non
commercial. Regional markets operate in all other areas where in most cases the
Networks include Seven, Nine and Ten and the majority of programming and
scheduling replicates what is televised in the metro markets. Some smaller
markets have only one or two stations and these stations telecast a mix of
programs from each of the main Networks.
Zones/Daypart Peak Sun-Sat 1800-2230
Off Peak Any time outside of Peak Including the following areas:
Womens daytime Mon-Fri 1000-1600
Fringe Mon-Fri 1700-1800
Late Night Sun-Sat 2230-2400
Morning Mon-Fri 0700-0900
Weekend afternoon Sun/Sat 1200-1800
Commercial Lengths 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 second.
Other options ‘Pull throughs’, which are generally seen on live sport where a message is
scrawled across the bottom of the screen
‘Advertorials’ where a product/service is talked about during the program
‘In program’ where a product is placed within the program
Rates Generally an agency/client rate arrangement is negotiated at the beginning of the
Individual markets are bought with some opportunities to buy a spot on a network
basis, such as a special event.
Rates are set for 30 second commercial spots with a 15 second spot generally
costing 60% of a 30 second, 45 second at 150% of a 30 second and 60 second at
200% of a 30 second rate.
Every program has a specific cost (as negotiated by the agency) and the costs are
higher in the peak zones and for the more popular shows. Rates also
increase during the winter months when audiences are higher and at the end of
the year in the lead up to Xmas when demand is also generally higher.