Buyers are supposed to be influenced only by audience numbers, not whether media people foot the bill for their parties.
Digiday's Jack Marshall published the email that has been circulating the agency world:
“Hello party people,
Looking forward to seeing you all tonight!
I have two favors that I hope you can help me with – as it is James’ going away party, everyone is already expecting it to be 1000000x crazier than any other going away party. Also, [redacted bar] is known to serve all cocktails in a 16 oz beer glass, so double the alcohol for everyone!
1) Would a few of you mind pre-ordering food this evening (delivery time around 7-8) to be delivered to the bar? Want to make sure no one gets too tanked at 7 pm
2) Would another kind saint deliver some Gatorades and greasy breakfast sandwiches to the agency tomorrow morning around 9:30 (I can be the point of contact)? As it’s Thursday and not a Friday, we can’t have work productivity start at 3 pm.. when the hangovers go away! We need to make sure our collective campaigns are on track! We have a dept of around 90 people…
Thanks in advance and see you tonight!”
That's pretty straight forward.
The Zenith employee even hinted at the necessity of the ad sellers, who depend on buyers' business, to provide the food gifts. "We need to make sure our collective campaigns are on track!" the supervisor writes.
Gifts are commonly exchanged in the media buying and selling world. In fact, there are sites dedicated to helping ad sales people exchange information about how to get buyers to make a deal.
Here's an example of a conversation from SellerCrowd.com:
Titans70: How do you get into [Company, Exec 1 and Exec 2] are impossible to hammer down?
Proche15: they'll take a mani/pedi
The party is tonight, so sellers still have time to plan out appropriate snacks for a department of 90 people.
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