Marketing is primarily a creative endeavour. Knowing how to promote your client and their products requires lateral thinking and flair. However, every marketing agency needs to have a marketing contract before they let their creativity flow. These marketing contracts set out the terms and conditions on which an agency provides its services.  This article discusses the things that every marketing agency should include in their marketing agreement.

What Should You Include In Your Marketing Contract?

1. Description of Work

Your marketing contract needs to specify the marketing services that you will provide to a client. It is essential that this clause is clear, accessible and detailed.

Be sure to include as much information as you can about strategy and creative concepts. Also, specify any relevant plans and key deliverables. Provide timelines, dates and important events as appropriate.

You should also talk about the processes by which a client approves or does not approve of any plans that you create.

There are several reasons for this. If it is detailed, it can better protect your agency from costly legal disputes.  The majority of conflicts concerning service agreements are about the scope of the agreement.

If your agreement contains as much relevant information as possible, there is likely less opportunity for these kinds of misunderstandings to occur.

If you include information such as key deliverables, important events and timelines, the client can chart progress. A client may be more inclined to feel satisfied because they can measure the campaign as it unfolds. Indirectly, it may also build goodwill and your agency’s reputation.

2. Payment/Terms of Payment

Your marketing services agreement needs to include information about payment of your fees.  It is essential that you provide the total amount that you expect to receive for your marketing services.

An agency also needs to specify when and how often a client pays. Some request a monthly fee or fees payable on the completion of a piece of work or critical event in the overall campaign.

Others require payment when a project is complete. Also, if you have a particular period during which a client must pay, be sure to include that as well.  Being specific about payment helps the client to know their obligations and your agency to plan financially.

3. Dates

It is important to include as many applicable dates as possible. For example, the time that your services will start, when the campaign begins and when certain tasks or events will take place.

4. Exclusivity

Your marketing contract needs to cover the question of exclusivity. Most agencies would like to be a client’s exclusive provider of marketing services. Conversely, clients typically want non-exclusive agreements. Be prepared to negotiate.

5. Liability

All service providers want to limit their liability as much as is legally possible. However, clients want the provider to bear as much liability as possible. Your agreement needs to consider this issue carefully.

For example, how will the agreement apportion liability if the agency makes a false or misleading claim based on information provided either by the client or because the agency made a mistake? Be aware that you cannot limit a liability that you must assume by law.

6. Intellectual Property

In these kinds of professional relationships, the client usually holds the intellectual property created in the marketing campaign.  However, your agreement might want to stipulate that the intellectual property only passes when you receive payment for the work.

Your marketing agreement should state clearly whether the agency retains intellectual property rights to work created, but unexecuted and rejected by the client.

You may also wish to have the right to display samples of the work that you do for a client in your agency’s portfolio.

7. Termination

Your marketing contract must specify in what circumstances either party to the agreement can terminate it.  It must also state what fees are payable on termination. For example, does your agency expect payment only for services rendered to date? If you draft this clause in sufficient detail, it may enable termination to occur as amicably as possible.


If you are running a marketing agency and require assistance drafting or reviewing your marketing agreement, get in touch with LegalVision’s qualified contract lawyers. Call LegalVision today on 1300 544 755.

Carole Hemingway

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