5 things to do when dealing with agency staffing issues:

Wojciech Ras | 23 kwietnia 2023 | 5 min read

Has your media agency fully staffed your account in line with the scope of works?

In the recent months there have been multiple issues flagged with regards to the agency staffing and the shortage of media talent to provide quality service to the clients’ accounts.

Ad Age has recently published an article flagging severe issues with agency staffing and how they are seeking help from media vendors and tech platforms such as Google or Criteo to deliver their scope to the clients (and the non-transparency issues this generates):


I have also recently spoken with some of my procurement friends at big FMCG’s. They stated that their accounts also have positions that have not been filled for months, and they typically get the highest priority at the agencies.

Here are the 5 consideration points for the advertisers to deal with the staffing issues on their accounts:

1. Understand the staffing situation on your account.

Get clarity of your “baseline”: who and at which capacity is working on your account. During the pitches, the agencies typically present a team structure and a staffing plan (regardless of the remuneration model in place) that is to be delivered on your account or see what your SoW document states. Compare this plan with the actual state.

2. Revise your SoW and agency delivery against it

Verify the content of the scope of work and the deliverables against it. It may turn out that the agency has not been delivering what they promised and were compensated to do or that the scope is no longer fitting your needs or you’re paying for something with little value added.

3. Put in place and measure the right KPI’s

Meaningful KPI’s will drive the right agency behaviors, which will push your business forward.

4. Review your remuneration and incentive model.

The KPI’s should have impact on agency remuneration / incentives – otherwise they’re just “fun facts” no one cares about much. I’ve seen agencies shift good teams away from clients to more profitable / important accounts, because there weren’t any consequences for doing so. Also, check if the remuneration model works for both you and the agency. A balanced Performance Related Fee – one which deters bad behaviors and stimulates over-performance – will help to boost agency efforts on things you want.

5. Control service delivery

Follow up on performance on a regular basis with clear action points and follow-ups to ensure consistent delivery. I’ve seen way too many performance reviews that happen long after the year end, to the point that the reviewers no longer can remember if the service was good or bad. This is neither constructive nor fair.

How is your agency account doing? Take a quick survey and we’ll consolidate the results and share them in the future post.


If you need help with setting the right governance model in place, feel free to reach us at info@progmatic.media.