Sufferers in the buying game

Carat Group’s decision to centralise trading negotiations across its three media companies (MW November 30) is justified by Ray Kelly, Carat’s chairman, with the now familiar claim that it will provide “exceptional media value” for clients.

For very large advertisers, this may be so. However, for any other advertiser billing less than £10m it is much more questionable whether it is worth sacrificing the negotiating attention of an agency dedicated to its business for only notional extra clout and an improved profit margin for the agency.

In the great volume-buying game, some large agency clients inevitably come off worse in order that others may come off better. That is the law of buying averages. Those that suffer are nearly always the lower-spending clients, who choose to stay with larger Media when they would get better value from Media more suited to their size.

Buying volume is by no means universally valuable.

Guy Sellers

Joint managing director

Total Media

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