In a Jan. 10 letter to stations, MediaCom's Anne Elkins said the agency is ready and eager to shift completely away from paper invoicing. "We believe that this is an absolute necessity for doing business now and in the future," she wrote, adding that e-invoicing saves time for both sides and cuts down on errors. Elkins, evp-director of local broadcast, is a member of an industry task force on e-business.
The letter follows word that local stations are the most advanced medium--considerably outperforming network TV, the Internet, and others--in terms of setting industry standards for e-business transactions, according to a report by the American Association of Advertising Agencies.
Local stations are leading the pack, in part due to a five-year-old e-business initiative by the TVB. Clients, agencies, and stations have all had varying degrees of reticence in moving away from paper communications, ranging from tradition to system upgrade issues to the need to notarize invoices. With agencies and stations moving at different speeds, implementation has been slowed.
"Unfortunately, because the stations got some mixed messages from the agencies, they haven't fully embraced it," said Abby Auerbach, evp of TVB.
Now, cross Mediacom off that list in the e-invoicing area. "It is an agency goal that we increase the number of stations providing electronic invoices in 2006," wrote Elkins, a participant in the TVB/AAAA joint task force on EDI (electronic data interchange).
TVB says about 1,000 stations and 15 major agencies are now sending invoices electronically.