Many businesses lack the resources or capacity to advertise internally and so choose to outsource these tasks to an agency. We run through some practical tips you should consider before engaging an external digital, PR or advertising agency to assist with promoting your business.

1. Request a Contract

Some smaller advertising agencies may not have a contract that they can provide to you. The first step is to request that your arrangement with the advertising agency be set out in writing, ideally through a written contract. A written contract will not only ensure that both parties are aware of the work agreed upon, but also it is an enforcement tool where the other party fails to perform their promises. Contracts will assist where there are disputes, whether it concerns the price, the extent of the advertising brief or length of assistance.

2. Look Out For the Ability to Vary the Contract

Some advertising contracts include clauses which allow the advertising agency to vary or modify the contract at a later date. Be wary of these contracts. It may mean that you unknowingly agree to clauses that you never intended to when you signed the contract.

For example, let’s say you are engaging an agency for public relations assistance and the contract states that their public relations timeline will be inserted into the contract once the agency has developed it. This type of clause will leave you open to an unknown level of assistance. For example, you may have only wanted to engage the agency for public relations, but they add in online marketing plans.

3. Review Any Termination Clauses

Termination clauses are important in any business contract as it can provide the flexibility for either party to leave the business relationship. On the one hand, you want to be sure that the other party will not instantly stop working for you as soon as there is an issue. Conversely, you equally want to have the opportunity to terminate if you are not happy with the services you’ve received so far.

If the advertising agency can terminate the contract, you should ensure that it is not an unlimited ability and that they set out in what circumstances they can terminate the agreement. Similarly, you should attempt to negotiate the possibility to terminate the agreement or go through dispute resolution in case there are any issues. Some contracts may also allow for automatic renewal, and you should be aware of any cut-off dates for cancellation so that you will have this option open where you no longer want to engage the advertising agency.

Key Takeaways

Advertising is an important part of every business in their goal to cement some market presence. Engaging an advertising agency may be one of the ways you do this. However, you should always protect yourself when dealing with third parties by reviewing your legal relationship. In particular, you should be wary of any unilateral variation clauses or termination clauses which may be of detriment to you.

If you need further assistance reviewing your advertising agreement or have any questions, get in touch with LegalVision today. Our contract lawyers are more than willing to lend a hand. You can reach us by calling 1300 544 755 or by filling out the form.

Kristine Biason
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