IPA tells ad clients to cough up in the crisis

The UK’s agency trade body the IPA has joined a number of other agency associations worldwide (unspecified) calling on clients to cough up.

Actually that’s not quite what they say – the official line is they’re caling for “each members’ clients to seek agreement on payment terms that support a positive and mutually beneficial relationship. This is a collective action to support the sector and those that rely on the advertising industry for their livelihood.”

IPA director general Paul Bainsfair (left) says: “The IPA is delighted to be part of this worldwide initiative. I have said many times that late payment should not be presented as an ‘understandable action’ when most of the big companies that do it do not have any liquidity issues.

“When agencies have to wait for money then their suppliers (many sole traders who do not carry much or any working capital) have to wait for their money. So the big companies who boast about their social responsibility are effectively causing real harm to the people that have been employed on their behalf.”

He’s right of course but, at a time when many big companies have simply stopped paying their bills amid the Covid-19 crisis, it’s a touch optimistic to expect advertising clients – most of whom are tardy when it comes to settling invoices at the best of times – to behave differently. Set an example indeed.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.