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What is an advertising contract?  


An advertising contract is a formal agreement between an advertising agency or independent contractor that has promised advertising services to a business.

The contract aligns both parties on every detail of the advertising agreement. It's a legally binding document that holds both parties accountable under governing law.

To get your legally binding advertising contract that's client-ready, sign-up now to Bonsai and start that next big project.

Why you need an advertising agreement template


An advertising agreement is an absolute must for your advertising and marketing services.

There are many moving parts to an advertising campaign, from online advertising, video advertising, viral advertising; the list is long, and there's a high chance you're using various advertising channels to hit brand awareness or sales goals.

Your advertising agreement not only covers the basics of working together but completely aligns both parties on what they can expect.

What should be included in a contract for advertising services?


Your advertising agreement comes after you've delivered and agreed on the advertising proposal. The client should already know what they can expect. However, your advertising agreement needs to include the following things.

Statement of work

Your statement of work should already be included in your advertising creative brief, or at the very least, a loose idea of it. View your statement of work as an introduction to the entire contract. It should give an overview of what the advertising agreement entails and the work involved. It should also state the advertising campaign goals.

Detailed descriptions of the work

Here you can go more specifically into the campaign details. Advertising agencies may be tempted to elaborate this section of the contract, but keep it bare bones and describe exactly what the company is getting in the advertising agreement.

For example:

  • 5 x billboard ads in XX destinations for XX months.

This part of the contract should also include the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of everyone involved. If you're an advertising agency, it's good to note down everyone the client will be working with and their part in the agreement.

Deliverables

The advertising contract needs to give a clear outline of the deliverables, both hard deliverables and hoped-for. For example, a hard deliverable could be the number of designs for social media advertisements and paid views for the advertising budget. Hoped-for deliverables could be something like XX new leads per month.

Advertising materials

These are the materials you will use to reach your desired goals, otherwise known as the advertising channels. In this section of your advertising and marketing contract, you'll want to include what the top-level materials are.

For example, several PPC advertisements, a radio advertisement, and some promoted posts on social media. There are many different advertising materials out there; it depends on your client, their audience, the advertising contract budget, and campaign goals.

Delivery date and timeline of work

You'll need to take a holistic approach to this section of your advertising contract. Take a look at the bigger picture and bookend your advertising campaign with content build and advertising acquisition time, as well as sufficient reporting time afterward. Map it all out here.

Payment details

Your advertising contract will need to cover all aspects of your payment details. Whether you're in online advertising or going for the more traditional ATL route, getting paid will always remain the same. Things to include are:

  • Cost per project, per hour, or other
  • Cost per material
  • Extra costs or penalties
  • Payment methods
  • Payment timeframe
  • Payment terms & conditions

You'll also need to include the client's invoicing details to create your invoice. Plus, a cost overview for tools you're using to get the job done—you'll be thankful for this when it comes to doing your tax deductions at the end of the year.

Copyright ownership

This is possibly one of the most important sections for your advertising clients. Every client wants to have copyright ownership over any assets you create for them—and rightly so.

Ensure in your advertising contract that it's clear who owns the right to all materials and clearly lay out what you can do with them outside of this agreement.

For example, maybe the client will permit you to use them in your digital portfolio to attract more online businesses.

You'll also find this clause legally vetted in the free advertising agreement template on this page. All you need to do to get it is sign-up for Bonsai here.

Confidentiality

There's a high chance you'll come across some business confidential information in your agreement. Your client will want to see a legally binding confidentially clause in the advertising agreement.

It means both parties agree not to share sensitive or potentially harmful information to the brand's reputation. This includes organizational structure, budgets, operations, and more.

Cancellation clause

Unfortunately, there are times in the business world when contracts can no longer be fulfilled. This doesn't mean to say either party is in breach of the contract, but perhaps the client has had a change of strategy or finances, or you can no longer manage the workload.

In this part of your advertising and marketing contract, you'll need to include the written notice period should this occur, under which circumstances, and whether the notice should be delivered by e mail or other means.

Termination of contract

Termination is something that happens from a breach of contract or gross misconduct. Although it doesn't happen often, every advertising contract needs to include it to give both parties peace of mind.

Here, layout what a breach of contract or gross misconduct is—that both parties agree on—and align on the procedure if this situation occurs.

Other factors

You've almost completed the entire agreement. Here you need to align on anything specific to your agreement. Ask the other party as well what they would like to include here.

For example, it could be access to tools like google analytics information, display networks, or social media management tools. It's also a good idea to outline liability for responses and general communication processes too.

Sample advertising contract template


Here's your very own advertising agreement template. Get this advertising contract template for free today by signing up for Bonsai.

Once you've created your account and got access to the agreement template, you'll be able to make any tweaks or changes you need, and can send your finished advertising contract off to your client in a few clicks.

What's the benefit of using Bonsai instead of editing a template yourself?


Your advertising contract with Bonsai is pre-made, with all of the legal clauses you need to start working with your client with peace of mind. It saves you time and worries, knowing you can jump straight into doing what you've been hired for.

How to create a simple advertising agreement template with Bonsai


Simple! Sign up for a Bonsai account and select your Bonsai plan. Pick the template you want, in this case, an advertising agreement template.

Next, make any changes you need to the document and fill in the blanks. Once done, you can download your contract or submit it directly to your client.

Advertising contract template FAQs


How do you create an advertising contract?

It depends on whether you're using a tool or not. An advertising contract can be created in Google Docs or Microsoft Word, as long as you include all of the necessary clauses. However, if you're using a tool like Bonsai, the contract build is mostly done for you already.

What is an advertising agreement?

An advertising agreement is an official document that legally binds an agreement between an advertising contractor or advertising agency and a client for promised advertising services.

What should be included in a marketing agreement?

There are a few things every marketing agreement needs. Here's our go-to list of clauses for any marketing contract:

  • Statement of work
  • Detailed descriptions of the work
  • Deliverables
  • Advertising materials
  • Delivery date and timeline of work
  • Payment details
  • Copyright ownership
  • Confidentiality
  • Cancelation & termination clauses
Use this template
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The simplest way to create a legally sound contract. Check out an example below

Advertising Contract Template

This Contract is between Sample Client (the "Client") and John Doe (the "Marketer").

The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].

1. WORK AND PAYMENT.

1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Marketer to do the following: The Marketer will assist the Client with advertising services.

1.2 Schedule. The Marketer will begin work on August 21, 2020 and the work is ongoing. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Marketer at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 6, Term and Termination.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Marketer a rate of $75.00 (USD) per hour. Of this, the Client will pay the Marketer $800.00 (USD) before work begins.

1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Marketer's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.

1.5 Invoices. The Marketer will invoice the Client weekly. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 5.0% per month on the outstanding amount.

1.6 Support. The Marketer will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

2. OWNERSHIP AND LICENSES.

2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Marketer is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, hardware, designs, inventions, patents, code, and anything else that the Marketer works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs, develops, invents, works on, or reduces to practice—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The Marketer hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Marketer is giving the Client all of its rights, titles, and interests in and to the work product (including intellectual property rights), and the Client will be the sole owner of it. The Client can use the work product however it wants or it can decide not to use the work product at all. The Client, for example, can modify, destroy, or sell it, as it sees fit.

2.2 Marketer's Use Of Work Product. Once the Marketer gives the work product to the Client, the Marketer does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Marketer here. The Client gives the Marketer permission to use the work product as part of the Marketer's portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the Marketer's work and not for any other purpose. The Marketer is not allowed to sell or otherwise use the work product to make money or for any other commercial use. The Client is not allowed to take back this license, even after the Contract ends.

2.3 Marketer's Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the Marketer's help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Marketer agrees to help with that. For example, the Marketer may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the Marketer, the Marketer agrees that the Client can act on the Marketer's behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the Marketer after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Marketer hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Marketer's agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Marketer and on the Marketer's behalf to execute, verify, and file the required documents and to take any other legal action to accomplish the purposes of paragraph 2.1 (Client Owns All Work Product).

2.4 Marketer's IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Marketer might use intellectual property that the Marketer owns or has licensed from a third party, but that does not qualify as “work product.” This is called “background IP.” Possible examples of background IP are pre-existing code, type fonts, properly-licensed stock photos, and web application tools. The Marketer is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Marketer is giving the Client a right to use and license (with the right to sublicense) the background IP to develop, market, sell, and support the Client’s products and services. The Client may use this background IP worldwide and free of charge, but it cannot transfer its rights to the background IP (except as allowed in Section 11.1 (Assignment)). The Client cannot sell or license the background IP separately from its products or services. The Marketer cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.

2.5 Marketer's Right To Use Client IP. The Marketer may need to use the Client’s intellectual property to do its job. For example, if the Client is hiring the Marketer to build a website, the Marketer may have to use the Client’s logo. The Client agrees to let the Marketer use the Client’s intellectual property and other intellectual property that the Client controls to the extent reasonably necessary to do the Marketer's job. Beyond that, the Client is not giving the Marketer any intellectual property rights, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Contract.

3. COMPETITIVE ENGAGEMENTS. The Marketer won’t work for a competitor of the Client until this Contract ends. To avoid confusion, a competitor is any third party that develops, manufactures, promotes, sells, licenses, distributes, or provides products or services that are substantially similar to the Client’s products or services. A competitor is also a third party that plans to do any of those things. The one exception to this restriction is if the Marketer asks for permission beforehand and the Client agrees to it in writing. If the Marketer uses employees or subcontractors, the Marketer must make sure they follow the obligations in this paragraph, as well.

4. NON-SOLICITATION. Until this Contract ends, the Marketer won’t: (a) encourage Client employees or service providers to stop working for the Client; (b) encourage Client customers or clients to stop doing business with the Client; or (c) hire anyone who worked for the Client over the 12-month period before the Contract ended. The one exception is if the Marketer puts out a general ad and someone who happened to work for the Client responds. In that case, the Marketer may hire that candidate. The Marketer promises that it won’t do anything in this paragraph on behalf of itself or a third party.

5. REPRESENTATIONS.

5.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.

5.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.

5.3 Marketer Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Marketer promises that it owns the work product, that the Marketer is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Marketer uses employees or subcontractors, the Marketer also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Marketer giving the Marketer any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Marketer's background IP and work product.

5.4 Marketer Will Comply With Laws. The Marketer promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.

5.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Marketer promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights, that the Marketer has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Marketer has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

5.6 Client Will Review Work. The Client promises to review the work product, to be reasonably available to the Marketer if the Marketer has questions regarding this project, and to provide timely feedback and decisions.

5.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Marketer with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights.

6. TERM AND TERMINATION. This Contract is ongoing, until ended by the Client or the Marketer. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 11.4. The Marketer must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless the notice says otherwise. The Client will pay the Marketer for the work done up until when the Contract ends and will reimburse the Marketer for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses. The following sections don’t end even after the Contract ends: 2 (Ownership and Licenses); 3 (Competitive Engagements); 4 (Non-Solicitation); 5 (Representations); 8 (Confidential Information); 9 (Limitation of Liability); 10 (Indemnity); and 11 (General).

7. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. The Client is hiring the Marketer as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

- The Marketer will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Marketer is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.- The Client will not provide the Marketer with any training.- The Client and the Marketer do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.- The Marketer cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.- The Marketer is not entitled to the Client’s benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).- The Marketer is responsible for its own taxes.- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Marketer or any of the Marketer's employees or subcontractors.

8. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.

8.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Marketer must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.

8.2 The Client’s Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Marketer may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Marketer promises to treat this information as if it is the Marketer's own confidential information. The Marketer may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Marketer use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Marketer cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Marketer written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Marketer may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Marketer must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Marketer promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Marketer written permission first. The Marketer must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Marketer's responsibilities only stop if the Marketer can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Marketer came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Marketer came across it, but not because of anything the Marketer did or didn’t do; (iii) the Marketer already knew the information when the Marketer came across it and the Marketer didn’t have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Marketer with the information without requiring that the Marketer keep it a secret; or (v) the Marketer created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.

8.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It’s possible the Client and the Marketer each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Marketer each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Marketer is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.

9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.

10. INDEMNITY.

10.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Marketer or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Marketer did, then the Marketer may promise to come to the Client’s defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.

10.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Marketer agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and its and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Marketer has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Marketer of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Marketer of the promises it is making in Section 5 (Representations).

10.3 Marketer Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Marketer (and its affiliates and its and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.

11. GENERAL.

11.1 Assignment. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Marketer. The Marketer cannot assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the Client’s written permission. In contrast, the Client may assign its rights and delegate its obligations under this Contract without the Marketer's permission. This is necessary in case, for example, another Client buys out the Client or if the Client decides to sell the work product that results from this Contract.

11.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.

11.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Marketer must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.

11.4 Notices.

(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party’s address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.

(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.

11.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that’s the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.

11.6 Signatures. The Client and the Marketer must sign this document using Bonsai’s e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.

11.7 Governing Law. The laws of the state of Arkansas govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the Marketer under this Contract, without regard to conflict of law principles of that state.

11.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties’ final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.

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