In Line at Churchill Downs. betting on Maiden Lane, ticket taker asks for $50 – You’re Kidding, I have to Pay-to-Play?

Examples are everywhere. The office football pool; the non-profit Mustang raffle, a 4A agency in their database and the list goes on. In the advertising industry, pay-to-play described the agency search consultant who was being paid handsomely by the client but was also requiring participating agencies pay to participate. That’s not illegal but it sure is unethical! And in one way or other, that practice or “arrangements-too-close” still go on today.

Any agency invited and participating in an agency review will spend money one way or other to compete. They’re being given an opportunity to win an account that might announce a budget of $50 million. That’s a hefty revenue prize for the agency, as in “small investment, large reward.” And the winning agency will in-turn offer guidance and services to the client that has them “spending” the announced $50 Million. In one way or other, the agency paid (spent) to participate and the client will pay (spend handsomely) to gain or maintain market share. Don’t talk to me about “pay to play!”

For those that still like to read, this has been part and parcel of our site for years:

AGENCIES PAY* In North America, registered agencies pay $500 US in advance to activate their record, which entitles them to receive unlimited client introductions for 12-months and conduct “no obligation due-diligence” client telephone interviews every time their agency is selected by a client based on matching the client’s search parameters.

When introduced, and if they elect to proceed as a contender (our definition), they pay the balance of their AgencyFinder subscription.  The maximum remaining payment in any 12-month period is capped at $5,000 US, for any advertising agency, integrated marketing agency, pr firm or online ad agency of any size regardless of how many times they participate over the course of 12 months.

AgencyFinder’s fees are NOT paid on each subsequent introduction, nor are they determined as a percent of agency revenue. Similarly, AgencyFinder’s fees are NOT paid when the agency gets paid. And this is NOT pay-to-play. Full info here at Plans & Prices.


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