The practice of bartering a marketer's distressed assets for media credits has gotten bigger and more mainstream in recession-era media economics. Media agencies otherwise faced with tough growth
challenges say business in their barter divisions is up anywhere from 30% to 40% this year, and major barter companies are also faring well.
IPG's Orion Trading, for example, has seen
year-on-year growth of 83% to date. Corporate trade firms such as Active International say their media-bartering business is up by some 25%. Brands, meanwhile, are using barter to maintain or even
increase advertising budgets in the hopes of taking market share from competitors.
Martin Cass, U.S. president of Carat, whose barter unit, Carat Trade, has grown 30% in the past three
years, said smart marketers are taking advantage of barter's benefits. "It is certainly a vibrant sector. You're starting to see procurement and smart clients understand that they can leverage some
of their inventory to create marketing opportunities."
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