Media buying `improved’

A new electronic communications network promises to improve the exchange of information between advertising agencies and the broadcasters from which they buy their clients' air time.The network, called MediaLINX, handles all the business and information transactions after negotiations for a media...

A new electronic communications network promises to improve the exchange of information between advertising agencies and the broadcasters from which they buy their clients’ air time.

The network, called MediaLINX, handles all the business and information transactions after negotiations for a media buy are complete.

It was developed by EDI Network Solutions in alliance with Mediatel, a division of Bell Canada.

Barry Trebell, a partner at EDI Network Solutions, says already some of the better-known names in the media business have signed up.

Trebell says the Global Television Network, Optimedia and Genesis Media – all in Toronto – will use his company’s system, and four or five other companies are close to signing.

Sunni Boot, senior vice-president and managing director of Optimedia, says MediaLINX should be seen by broadcasters and agencies as a chance to control fixed costs relative to revenues.

Trebell says a study by Optimedia found media buyers spend 30% of their time negotiating buys and 70% of their time ‘chasing paper.’

Using MediaLINX, information about contractual changes, affidavits, invoices and communications are transmitted electronically between broadcast business partners.

Trebell says the first stage of MediaLINX’s phase-in will be transmissions from personal computer to personal computer.

According to Mississauga, Ont.-based EDI Network Solutions, this flow of data significantly reduces clerical and operations errors associated with data entry, matching affidavits to contracts, product-to-inventory scheduling and contract revisions.

However, the company continues, the main benefit of MediaLINX comes from its ability to ensure all parties are working with the most current information through controlled distribution and approved change acceptance.

Trebell says membership fees for MediaLINX vary.

It costs a major market radio station $9,250, a major market tv station or advertising agency $18,500, and a major market bulk buying media service $29,000.

Trebell says transaction fees for MediaLINX also vary, depending on the volume of data transmitted.