Levi’s, who is in the midst of a creative review, has asked competing agencies for invoices from other clients. According to Adage:
“-agencies were asked for “supporting documentation,” described in this manner: “To substantiate the efficacy of your data entries, we need to receive (in an Excel file) a listing of the vendor invoice data, including your posted target-audience impressions for each commercial unit you accessed within your database to derive your data entries.” The request was made for both national TV and print buying.”
Are they out of their bleeding minds? Not only would agencies be releasing confidential data on other clients, which could be a violating of contract, but isn’t this just to sneaky of Levi’s? Such data would allow them to determine what competitors are paying for media. And yes, that’s true even if agencies blacked out identifying information. It would allow Levi’s to negotiate a deal with the winning agency that might be below market value based on these other billings.
With the economy in the crapper, who is really surprised that Levi’s has made such a bold attempt? We can only hope that agencies do not comply. What a dangerous precedent to set.