This post is the seventh instalment in a series that depict the state of the online nation in Quebec vs the rest of Canada, North America in general, even France in some cases. The story began here in case you missed it focusing on what’s so different in Quebec. Part two is here and explains about our inferiority complex, our star system and how we are latin. Part three looked at who’s online in Quebec and how time spent online compares to other media. Part four compared online surfing habits of French and English Canadians by looking at the categories they navigate online. Part five looked at ad spend online in Quebec compared to other media. Part six looked our social networking habits, which sites we consult the most and which are we not returning to…
Agency-Publisher Relationship in Quebec
For the most part, the agency-publisher relationship in Quebec is very much the same as it is everywhere else in North America. However, and of course, there are a few differences. Quebec agencies, almost as a rule, do not use RFPs (request for proposal) which is contrary to most advertising agencies in Toronto, New York and Chicago. Quebec based online publishers see many more RFPs from Toronto agencies than they do from Montreal agencies.
They won’t use RFPs unless they absolutely have to. Why is that? There are many reasons, but they feel it gives them better control over their planning and execution. Some feel the RFP is a crutch. Others don’t want to disclose anything, or just the minimum to a publisher to get what they need.
Montreal agencies however react better to advertising opportunities presented by Publishers. Publisher driven concepts, since they wrap around local content that’s relevant to local brands, or to local planners and buyers, resonates much more that they do in Toronto. These types of opportunities are usually seen by Toronto agencies as simple sales offensives, so they are dismissed rather quickly.
CPMs are higher in Quebec
Quebec publishers, or French websites in general, command a higher CPM than Francophone targeting on English inventory, or English inventory all together. French ad inventory can almost be categorised as niche from the get-go since it is necessarily more scarce, more limited. Offer and demand helps balance out higher CPMs. However, as with English language ad inventory, not all French language ad inventory can be called “premium.” So of course come sites or networks will sell for much less, while others will charge much more than the standard rate card.
No Agency Rate Card
A negotiated annual online rate card can be very common in the US between online publishers and advertising agencies. This also seems to be the case in English Canada. However it is not the case in Quebec to date. There are less pure plays in Quebec than in other markets. Other online players that have offline media usually apply the same sales parameters online as they’ve done offline in the past. Pricing thus tends to remain separate at the advertiser level, as they do for other media. This means annual agreements are signed per client (advertiser) based on history and projected spend or engagement, but not with an agency to include all its clients.