Most commonly used in the context of medicine and law, malpractice is defined as, “improper, illegal, or negligent professional activity or treatment”. But malpractice is no stranger to the advertising world either. You can google “advertising malpractice” and find many interesting stories, mostly regarding fraudulent advertising claims.
The one word in the definition of malpractice that I want to focus on is negligent. First, so we are on the same page, the definition of negligent is, “failing to take proper care in doing something”, and I would add to this definition, “that we know should be done”.
As a media rep selling advertising, what is your job? Is it to sell ads? Is it to help your clients get results from their advertising investment? Is it to service the account so they have the best chance of achieving success? The answer is, “Yes!”
Once you convince a prospect to do business with you, they become your client. It’s then your job to service that client so they have the best chance of getting a return on their investment. Anything less is negligence, or “Media Rep Malpractice”.
The most common case of MRM (Media Rep Malpractice) is not updating copy. The only excuse for not updating copy on a regular basis is because your client asks to keep the same ad running. Even then, you’re responsible to advise them that airing the same ad over and over isn’t in their best interest. When you do, you are no longer negligent. Equally as common is once the sale is made, we don’t show up again until the schedule is over.
Media reps are just like doctors and lawyers; there are good ones and bad ones. Are you doing what you should to make sure you’re a good one? Always provide solid and truthful information, never over-promise, and always over-deliver. If you do, you’ll never be accused of “Media Rep Malpractice”.