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Fieldfisher and ISBA draft new template framework agreement for media buying and planning



United Kingdom

Fieldfisher has advised the voice of advertisers on its new template contract.

European law firm Fieldfisher has, on behalf of ISBA, drafted a new template framework contract for use in media buying and planning.

ISBA, the trade body for British advertisers, has previously collaborated with the IPA, the professional body for advertising and marketing agencies, to publish a framework agreements but, with the digital media space causing issues over transparency and accountability, has this year created the template agreement alone for the first time.

The move by ISBA is acknowledgement that the advent of new technologies, like programmatic trading, has meant that advertisers in particular have been disadvantaged because they failed to understand the pressures and issues of this new trading environment.  The new template provides advertisers with the appropriate tools to enable them to achieve their aims of greater transparency and, yes, accountability.

Brands will, it is hoped, have greater control over their media assets and investments through use of the new framework agreement, while ISBA also hopes the new agreement will lead to stronger client/agency relationships in the UK due to the greater clarity provided.

Debbie Morrison, a director at ISBA, took the lead in developing the new agreement. She said: “In creating this new template contract for media services it was essential that ISBA worked with a legal team who implicitly understood the contemporary marcoms environment and could guide us through the complexities of drafting suggested  terms that addressed key advertisers issues.  Fieldfisher really understood those needs and have helped us deliver terms that address not just complex issues but also  the broadening of agency services into many areas including creative services, social, app and web design.” 

The Fieldfisher team was led by David Bond, partner specialising in brand development, who was assisted by Mark Smith. Bond said: "This is a significant development as it is reflective of the changes in the media landscape that have been developing over the last few years. The media landscape is more complex now than it's ever been, and changing at a rapid pace. 

"The old ISBA agreement was focused on traditional media so needed replacing, but equally important was the need to shine a light on the often opaque media planning and buying process and to ensure that agencies act in the advertisers' best interests, disclosing all relevant financial arrangements and avoiding potentially damaging conflicts of interest.  This new framework will be critical in restoring that balance."

Fieldfisher is recognised as a leading law firm in the advertising and marketing space, advising across the breadth of the industry. As well as advising ISBA the firm also advises many household brands.

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