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Fire Your Agency for Media Buy Commissions

Fire Your Agency If They Charge Commissions on Media Buying

What is Media Cause’s media buying commission? This is a question we get quite often when we are talking with new organizations. Quick answer – Media Cause does not charge commission fees on media.

Let’s unpack the longer answer. Commissions on media buys are a relic of big TV/Radio and print budgets in the for profit world. In most instances, this is still how those mediums work. Most of our clients aren’t investing in these types of media buys; be it for lack of measurable results for their goals or barriers to entry because of budgets. When agencies use this type of fee structure, it incentivizes them to get their clients to spend more money on advertising, rather than focusing on results. These fees are generally in addition to creative, production, ongoing management and reporting.

Many advertising publishers also give kickbacks or discounts on advertising to agencies when they steer clients in their direction. These savings don’t always make their way to the client – rather, it is another way for agencies to make more money from the same media buy.

How does Media Cause approach Media Buying?

  1. We do all of our paid advertising on a time and materials basis or a flat fee. This means we only charge our clients for the time it took to create, publish, and continually optimize the advertisements. We do this for short-term campaigns and for ongoing, evergreen campaigns. In this fee structure, we are focused on getting results and not spending more money on ad platforms. The dirty little secret is that, most of the time, a $10,000 media buy that lasts one month on Facebook takes the same amount of time to manage as a $100,000 media buy during the same time period. Why should it cost 10x more?
  2. We encourage (and prefer) when our clients pay for the media buys directly. This way, there is 100% transparency on what the rates are from the advertising publisher.

Bottom line: We don’t charge commissions on media buying, because it does not further the impact of our clients. Sure, we don’t make as much money, but as a mission-driven organization, we are more focused on accelerating the growth of organizations doing good around the world than double-dipping on fees. Our bet is organizations find more value in paying for all of the work we actually do.



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