4A's amends agency Ownership and Search Agreement position papers


Thomas Finneran, 4A’s EVP/Agency Management Services, notified members that the 4A’s Board has approved amendments to two new 4A’s position papers that re-enforce guidance on agencies’ preserving ownership of new business ideas, plans and work product, and executing new business agreements with client prospects at the beginning of every agency search. The new guidance urges agencies to adhere to the best practices contained in the ANA/4A’s Guidelines for Agency Search, including guidance on agency ownership of ideas/work and client post-review feedback.

In one position paper, the 4A’s recommends agencies preserve ownership of new business-search ideas, plans and work product.

The amended guidance notes that the ANA and 4A’s urge the marketer and agency communities to adhere to the ownership and use guidance that is contained in the ANA/4A’s Guidelines for Agency Search. The amended guidance also refers to the Agency Search Consultants Code of Conduct.

The other position paper recommends that agencies execute new business agreements with client prospects at the outset of every review and every agency search.

The guidance recommends that new business-agency search agreements be executed covering confidentiality, ownership of ideas and work and participation compensation. The amended paper also recommends obtaining client commitment to provide post-review feedback for all reviews. The “Agency Search Agreement” position paper provides an illustrative Agency Search/New Business Agreement form.

The 4A’s Board urges agency management who are engaged in the new business process to carefully review the best practice guidance that’s contained in these position papers and adopt the 4A’s recommendations as part of their agency’s standard business development practice.

See the papers here:

Adobe  View Best Practice Guidance: Ownership of Agency Ideas, Plans and Work Developed During the New Business Process

Adobe  View Best Practice Guidance: Agency Search Agreements

RBR-TVBR observation: One of the things the 4As does for its members is recommend ways that their ideas aren’t stolen from clients or other agencies during reviews and agency searches. These are covered here. If an agency comes up with a fantastic media plan or creative idea, proper business documents and signatures on them will keep the ownership of those ideas in the hands of the agency.