5 stages of advertisement audit

Posted @ 11/11/2016 6:04:41 PM by admin Under( Advertisement audit)

Advertisement and media audit and verification in laymans terms, comprises of checking if the various ads to reach the target audience are actually being displayed/ distributed as intended or not. Advertisement can be of various types - 
- Out-door Advertisement
- In-door Advertisement
- TV commercials
- Radio Advertisement
- Online / Digital Ads
- Print Advertisement
- Pamphlets with Print advertisement
- Event advertisement
Stage I - The need of advertisement audit
With the expanding advertisement and media budgets of the firm, advertisement these days are no longer confined to a single geographical market or language. The spread of the target audience itself is mind boggling. Add to that the various mediums through which the company tries to send their message across, an analytical mind of the executive spending precious amounts of organizations resources cannot be blamed if asks - 
  • Is the advertisement i am paying for actually reaching my target audience?
  • How reliable are the reports of the advertisement agency hired by us?
  • Is there any difference between the numbers that are reported to me and the ground reality?
  • Did the advertisement actually played/ appeared in the medium when it was supposed to?
  • Can i get any pointers and detailed reports of whats the percentage efficiency of my advertisements?
  • How can i achieve more returns for same spending?
All these questions make conducting an advertisement audit paramount. Verifying the actual floating of ad as well as detailed audit of the media agency as per the Standards of Auditing relating to service organization is very important.
Stage II - Planning the advertisement and media audit along with the complete scope of the exercise
This involves the client detailing the entire scope of exercise which he needs us to verify. The independent third party verification is also undertaken for satisfaction of regulatory compliances.
Once the client explains the entire scope of the advertisement exercise to be conducted, he discusses the important parameters which needs to be captured. Also the common risk areas are detailed by us and the client based on the past experience. Accordingly an audit plan is made after taking into consideration the above, and accordingly the parameters are shared with the verification team.
Stage III - Fieldwork with actual verification of the scope by our Pan-India network of auditors and associates
This is the stage where actual work takes place, accordingly one of the more important stages. In here our pan India network of auditors and associates is leveraged and real time information is captured. This is also the area where the cost of project shoots up as this is the only non-automated component of the entire exercise.
But as you can read about our operational strength here, we at AAA are able to use our vast network of resources to execute projects at the costs which are similar to a project being executed locally.
The results of the actual physical verification, be it airing of ads, display of an advertisement board at a prominent place or be it appearance of ad in locally circulated print media, are updated on real time basis to a centrally situated team, also compressing the project timelines, and hence the resulting costs.
Stage IV - Analyzing the variances
The results shared in stage III above are analyzed for the variances. Variance is basically the difference between the actual result and the expected result. Any deviation from the expected result is drilled down into, and if it turns out to be material, the same is included in final report.
It is to be noted that materiality levels for the entire exercise is predetermined in Stage I & II and are followed accordingly.
This stage also involves reconciliation of actual findings with the budgeted exercise initially. Any variance in this is also reported.
Stage V - Reporting the findings and drawing actionable conclusions.
Thus the entire exercise above brings us to the final stage where in the findings of the entire advertisement and media audit and verification are summarised, and the summarized results are handed over to client for further actions. This report also consists of our recommendations for deriving better value from future exercise, and also the common risk areas where more attention needs to be provided. Also if there is any instance of fraud or misappropriation, the same is emphasized to the client. 
This results in a complete exercise document which can be studied by client for increasing efficiency, negotiating future costs as well as penalizing the ad agency for any slippages or misreporting on their part.
As this is a Chartered Accountant certified report, the same can be used to satisfy any queries of companys statutory auditor as well as satisfying any inquiry of regulators, board or management.



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