Call for transparency in marketing spend

16 November 2005
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16 November 2005 | SM reporters

Marketing must be held more accountable for spend, according to Sir Martin Sorrell, chairman of media agency WPP Group.

At the Maximising Marketing Money conference held in London today, Sir Martin said chief executives are now aware of their media expenditure and are unhappy about it.

"They are fed up with having to pay more for less," he said.

Marketers must be answerable for how much they spend and where, he added.

However, Joanna Seddon, executive vice-president of Millward Brown - the media research agency which organised the event - said such a move would be good news for marketers.

She said making a financial case for budgets should be seen as an opportunity, not a threat.

"Brands and marketing are key value drivers in the business. With the right tools, the importance of brand marketing can be clearly quantified, enabling marketing to make a powerful business case for continued or even increased investment."

She said it would not mean the loss of creativity but instead "create a framework around it".

Millward Brown has launched a research framework that can be used to assess the total impact of marketing investment on sales and on brands in both the short and long-term.

A study commissioned by on-demand spend management specialists Marrakech, found marketing teams are the worst culprits for using non-approved suppliers and submitting irrelevant requests.

As reported in the current issue of Supply Management, the poll of 100 financial directors of blue-chip organisations described marketing as the least disciplined of departments during financial procedure.


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