Media Contract Guidance for Advertisers: Focus on China

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FirmDecisions, part of the Ebiquity Group, in partnership with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and with input from Chinese Association of National Advertisers (CANA), has unveiled a new guide on media agency contracts for the China market. 

Recognising the need for specific guidance tailored to the unique China market, WFA engaged FirmDecisions to develop Media Contract Guidance for Advertisers with China-specific recommendations. Consultations were conducted with the WFA’s Media Forum and CANA members to identify and address the most critical media agency contract compliance issues unique to the Chinese market. 

"We are excited to collaborate with WFA and CANA in releasing this comprehensive Media Contract Guidance for Advertisers, This comprehensive guide equips advertisers with valuable insights into the specific nuances of working with China based media agencies, including utilization of brokers in China, fostering transparency and empowering them to make informed decisions regarding their media agency partnerships."


  • Broker Management: How can brokers be transparently justified and identified
  • Unbilled Media: Key lookouts for clients
  • Rebates: Best practice and considerations when it comes to out of home & digital media
  • Taxes: Ensuring the right rate is being charged and paid
// What we want to investigate and why

Unambiguous managed contracts

Clear and unambiguous contracts are crucial for establishing a strong, documented partnership between brands and agencies, driving the best value from advertising budgets. Best practice recommends regular contract compliance audits commissioned by advertisers to ensure adherence to the agreed terms by the agency. These audits should occur every one or two years to reflect the dynamic nature of the media marketplace, with the findings incorporated into updated contracts. 

When combined with the Media Contract Guidance, the outcome of following the advice is threefold:

  • To ensure full transparency in return for fair remuneration
  • To protect advertisers’ best interests for the long-term future
  • To encourage the widespread adoption of best practices

"It is our aim to empower advertisers with the tools and knowledge to establish robust and transparent relationships with their agency partners, ultimately driving better outcomes in the ever-changing media landscape,"  

// What we've discovered and suggest

Global expertise coupled with local learning’s

By combining global expertise with local best practice, advertisers can be assured that they will protect their best interests and develop stronger, longer-lasting relationships with their key agency partners. For the Chinese market, it’s also valuable for advertisers to work with advisors who understand the specific local challenges such as broker management and unbilled media. 

The resulting China-specific Guidance, combined with the previously released Global Media Contract Guidance both in dual English and Chinese, aims to provide advertisers with clarity on the distinctive aspects of the Chinese market. It offers a framework for developing fit-for-purpose media agency contracts that capture the nuances of the market.

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