For National Television buys, order letters should always be carefully prepared and executed. These are the contracts between buyers and media vendors, so it is critical that they include a thorough explanation of all deal points.

Top 10 Checklist:

  1. On agency or network letterhead with date, buyer and seller identified
  2. Guaranteed demographic (Adults 18-49, Women 25-54, etc.)
  3. Ratings currency for evaluation (Live, Commercial +3, etc.)
  4. Thorough explanation of guarantee period and guarantee structure (single quarter, across quarters, etc.
  5. Gross media cost and any other costs associated with the package
  6. Guaranteed audience delivery and CPM
  7. Process by which restitution will be provided for any delivery shortfalls (on purchased network, on “sister” networks, commercial inventory vs. cash, etc.)
  8. Quarterly detail including spending, audience delivery guidelines, cancellation options and option notification dates
  9. Terms if buys are changed
  10. Executed (signed and dated) by both parties

Ideally, it also contains all other actionable deal points (commercial separation, pod exclusivity, late night cut off, added value, content guidelines, etc.).