Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
RTV Slovenia has revealed that one Slovenian agency for media buying significantly inflated the prices of advertising which they presented to the clients, which is why criminal complaint has been filed against this agency, according to the Director of RTVS Mark Fillio.
In an article published in the Ljubljana daily Dnevnik, whose authors are Meta Roglič and Uroš Škerl Kramberger, it is stated that the agency in question is Media Publikum, led by one of the richest Slovenians Tilen Klarič. He has denied all the allegations, stating that he is not familiar with the complaint. Media Publikum specializes in brokering the sale of media space or time. It is common for the media to negotiate with media agencies on the price, quantity and conditions of publishing in their ad real-estate, which then act as mediators between the media and advertisers. Media Publikum is one of the most important media partners of RTV Slovenia.
Media Publikum on their website claim that they cover a large part of the Slovenian market. They implement and use media market research, presenting themselves as the top experts in this industry. They are the oldest agency of its kind in Slovenia, and have been in business since 1985.
Foul play that often must be accepted
According to sources of Dnevnik, agency Media Publikum mislead purchasers of ads, presenting them false costs of commercial time in the programs of RTV Slovenia. Prices were significantly inflated, “justified” by falsified invoices allegedly issued by RTV Slovenia. One of the journalists of Dnevnik has confirmed that prices were falsely increased even up to 70%. The amount agreed with the RTVS was paid to the public broadcaster, while the difference was kept by the agency. At that, sources say, the amounts did not relate to the usual media commission based on professional work and negotiating skills of the intermediary agency, but the agency “skinned” both parties (broadcasters and advertisers).
Dnevnik learned from those informed about the events in the advertising industry that extreme, unethical and controversial business deals in this industry are common. Most media outlets that offer ad space know that intermediaries inflate prices and cover up the original prices of advertising, which later turns into blackmail of both the media and the advertisers. But this is a “business game” to which all parties agree and, in the end, voluntarily cooperate. RTV Slovenia clearly recognized this as a criminal offense – and the key is probably the suspicion of falsifying invoices, which Klarič denied, so this will be something that the prosecuting authorities will deal with after the holiday season. Important fact is that RTV Slovenia is not a private enterprise, but a public broadcasting service whose existence is guaranteed by the state. Part of that “existence” is the ad space or commercial time on RTVS.
This begs the question why the marketing department of RTVS did not itself sell the commercial space at higher prices, if customers were already willing to pay that price.
Klarič: We stepped on someone toes
Those familiar with the situation say that in this case it should be aware that big intermediary agencies, such as the Media Publikum, hold the media in check because they tactically prevent direct arrangements between the media and advertisers. Leasers of ad space strategize and threaten that they will completely withdraw advertisers, which would lead the media into financial crisis. RTV Slovenia is also not immune from such pressures according to Dnevnik’s journalists, because they are afraid of losing advertising revenue and that media agencies could pound them into a corner.
Director Klarič said for Dnevnik that he is on holiday, and will be able to talk about it only when he returns to Ljubljana. In an e-mail message he wrote that his agency obviously stepped on someone toes, that the whole affair has been fabricated, and that his competitors want to cause damage to his business. Janja Erjavec, director of media planning at Media Publikum, said that she knows nothing about the complaint.
Media in Slovenia, apart from Dnevnik, for now remain silent about the whole thing, fearing the loss of advertising revenue. A source close to Media Marketing said that this fear stems from the lack of confidence in the Slovenian legal system. However, the information coming from the court say that the court and the investigating authorities will seriously tackle this case immediately after the holiday season.
While the investigating authorities and the court do their job, it is paramount to preserve the confidence in the media business because not all Slovenian media agencies earn their money in this way. Media planning and media buying is a serious business that serious agencies conduct in a fair and honest way.
Slovenia’s advertising industry is clearly in for a sizzling autumn.