UK Agencies Push Back On Google Commission Restructuring

I wrote
of Google ending/cutting commission payments to agencies in Europe
as of January 1.
Google under
fire for scrapping agency commission
from intellagencia and

IPA wades into Google commission row
look at the to-be-expected pushback
from agencies.

In particular, the UK’s IPA Digital
Marketing Group has put out a statement (sorry, couldn’t find it on the IPA site
that wants you to log-in to do much of anything there) that it has deep concerns

  • The move might undermine the trust between agencies and clients
  • Was driven by Google’s financial self-interest
  • The qualification levels are unrealistic.

Of course, the fact that search marketing firms and other agencies have done
well without commissions outside of Europe kind of undermines those arguments. I
have no doubt the change is going to be hard for many agencies. Outside Europe,
agencies have evolved to justify their services and time by getting compensation
by adding on top of what search engines charge, often on a percentage or
flat-fee basis. Europe hasn’t grown up that way, so a commission cut will
obviously be a blow — though not as bad as if it was entirely removed.

The Search Agency
from Kevin Ryan at iMedia Connection also looks at the issue, finding
it will help smaller players, rather than hurt them as the IPA argues. He also
seems to like not having discounts, as that keeps the focus on the services an
agency can provide.

Finally, I started out saying Google was ending/cutting commission payments.
What’s with that slash? As far as Google is concerned, commissions will be
ending entirely. In their place will be an entirely new “best practices funding”
that may pay up to 15 percent back on spend. Why’s that different from a
commission? It’s not going to be, for many. The best practice funding doesn’t
come with any strings on what you spend it on.

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