Future-Proofing Procurement Contracts Webinar Summary


In case you missed it, we hosted an webinar on contracting trends titled “From Hindsight to Foresight – contracts that stand the test of time” on March 13, 2024. Our panel of experts — Simon Francis, Chair & Co-CEO; Peter McEnaney, Consultant, and special guest Sioban Shortt, Senior Director Commercial, Marketing & Sales at Mars — led the discussion on the challenges and opportunities surrounding contracting now and in the future.

Simon and Peter kicked off the webinar by talking about the current landscape of contracting. Given the current climate, for this webinar we decided to spotlight and focus on AI, Talent, DEI and Influencer. However, other trends discussed included agency compensation, payment terms, data protection and ESG. We ended with an insightful Q&A with Sioban on best practice.

Key Takeaways

Whilst offering the promise of greater value and effectiveness to brands, artificial intelligence is upending advertising and rights issues abound such as brand safety and governance, data and consumer privacy. Brands should consider:

  • Limit AI use in agency work (data & creative output) to avoid copyright infringement.
  • Enforce strict liability in your agency contract to protect your brand reputation.
  • Understand your agency’s future use of tools to ensure it benefits both parties. Consider impact on people, processes and other partners.

Agencies continue to struggle to retain senior talent and are passing on the costs to clients. Brands should consider:

  • Defining the scope to outline staffing expectations with clear roles and responsibilities, rates, and expected costs. Check out our scoping tool to see where we can help you there.
  • Holding agencies to account on promised talent, services, seniority and diversity
  • Consider a performance-based model based on the outcome objectives

Diversity hiring is slowing or reversing within the marketing industry. Brands should consider:

  • Update Master Services Agreement to specify clear commitments to DEI and establish a framework for routine auditing around staffing and performance
  • Procurement having a guiding role in the RFI/RFP process, ensuring that agencies meet DEI requirements
  • Brands must live by the values they espouse and make legitimate efforts to instill DEI and accessibility initiatives

Influencer marketing is on the rise but transparency and measurement issues remain. Brands should consider:

  • Where possible, secure middlemen (agencies, vendors, platforms) to control costs and ensure full transparency
  • Specify ownership of content and reserve the right to walk away on adverse publicity or fraud
  • Avoid flat-fee structures and product gifting. Develop the contract to incentivize successful outcomes and include measurable influencer KPIs

If you’d like a one pager of our top tips on how to future-proof your contracting and a copy of the webinar recording, fill out the form below:

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