ANA Finds Commissions Persist, More For Media Than Other Services

While use of media commissions has eroded dramatically since the Association of National Advertisers began tracking methods of agency compensation in the 1980s, it has persisted the most for media services, according to the 2022 edition of its periodic study released Tuesday by the association.

While only 7% of marketers responding to the ANA study said they continue to utilize commissions compensation for their agency services overall, the percentage using it to compensate agencies for media planning or buying is nearly three times that, at 19%.

The finding is noteworthy, because media commissions -- originally 15% of the cost of media buys -- was the way agency compensation models began in the earliest days of the ad industry.

Media services also have the lowest rate of fee-based compensation arrangements, with only about half of ANA members saying they currently use fees to compensate their media agencies.

Interestingly, media services also have the highest percentage of "other" otherwise unclassified compensation arrangements: 30% vs. only 11% for agency services overall.

Perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that all media-services compensation arrangements have the highest current satisfaction levels of any form of agency services.

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