Nobody’s Paying Attention To Details

A radio commercial ran December 27th for a car dealership hustling year end business.

Everything was fine until the announcement that the sale ends November 30th.

OOPS!

I’m guessing a week earlier the conversation went something like this: “Just run the same ad we used last month.” “Okay!”

This led to some serious finger-pointing. “You should have changed the deadline!” “You said to just use the same ad!”

Realistically, the client is responsible for the advertising content. However, the station’s account representative or Traffic department should checked every spot to avoid these kinds of problems.

Was the rep busy spending that media commission instead of doing a thorough job? Who can say?

To mitigate the damage in a case like this, most stations will provide a make-good (i.e. run the ad again for free). True, they’re not obliged to provide a freebie and would rather get paid for the spot. Still, it’s far better to give away the time for free than to lose a client, right?

Mistakes happen throughout the media world, and a certain percentage of ads will always be makegoods to compensate unhappy customers.

To clarify, seeing ads back-to-back aren’t makegoods. Makegoods are run at a later time, helping clients extend their ad campaign. Back-to-back ads are…oh, let’s discuss that in another column.

Of course there’s the customer who’ll push too far. Over the years I’ve heard of advertisers seeing a missing letter in a print ad and demanding a full refund, three free ads, and a published apology.

But unless that missing letter significantly alters the meaning of the ad, that’s typically not going to happen.

To prevent these kinds of problems, you (the advertiser) have a responsibility to ensure your message is correct before authorizing it to run. To improve your odds, always request a proof (the copy JUST before the final is run) to review.

You can get a proof whether it’s print or broadcast, and each serves the same purpose.

The way I figure it, yes, you can request a makegood if your message gets messed up. And the station or publication may well give you that makegood to fix the problem.

But wouldn’t you rather get your message right in the first place so that you’re not confusing your customers?

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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