Demystifying media barter – a guide for advertisers

Frances Dickens
Astus Group

From merchants trading in ancient times to modern day neighbourhood skills exchanges, barter has stood the test of time as a way of exchanging goods and services without the need for cash. Within a 21st century business context, the rise of media barter – a process that allows brand owners to augment media budgets without spending more cash – is a matter of record with estimates suggesting the UK media market has reached around £350m (gross media billings) compared to around £200m in 2010.

So what do brands need to know about media barter?

Media barter is a relatively new discipline that has developed over the last decade into an established business process. It aims to deliver efficiencies by allowing brand owners to use their goods and services to part-fund their media spend so they don't have to pay for it all in cash. While brand owners rightly regard issues such as stock control and inventory management as confidential, the reality is that many businesses have capital tied up in warehoused products and services. Media barter developed as a means of using the unsold inventory to create incremental media spend, adding value to both brand owners and media owners in the process.