18 October 2007 | Paul Snell
Buyers must create competitive markets to get value for money for marketing spend.
Bob Brimson, consultant director of creative services at Universal Music Group, said although some agencies refer to certain charges as "standard", they should not be considered as such.
"The decades of precedent are all rubbish," he told an audience of buyers. "Unless they give you value for money there are other options."
He said buyers could cut costs by 10 to 15 per cent if creative bids were compared. He added that unless creative proposals are presented alongside commitments to deliver on time and within budget, they should be rejected.
He also expressed dislike for the term "decoupling", to explain the break-up of the marketing supply chain, preferring "direct to client". He said agencies and production houses were only "book ends" of the process and there were other stakeholders in between.
Reducing purchasing costs has also created more opportunities for Universal's artists. "I was given an £8,000 budget to create a video for Snow Patrol. Five years ago we wouldn't have bothered. But we were able to do it and it was fundamental in breaking the band."