Product Review – Media Buying Tutorial Videos


Name: Media TutorType: VideosCategory: Advertising
Pros:                                                             Incredibly detailed content!! It is like having over 24 hours of one-on-one coaching from a 30-year veteran buyer. Covers all media forms from TV, radio, buses, airplanes, newspapers, trade pubs and much more.Cons: Not available on DVD yet. Being able to jump to DVD chapters would be nice. Current VHS tapes had some video drop-outs–expect this to be fixed with the newly updated series.Notes: Reviewed video training series. This is fantastic stuff.
Overall Rating: 5 Stars  Comments: A “must buy” for any Marketing Director, Ad manager or Media Buyer from an agency or corporation.


While updating the Chanimal section on advertising I ran across a website called, “Media Buying Academy” at The site is fairly old-fashioned and has few graphics (you can tell they’re media buyers, not designers), but it seemed easy enough to navigate. One of the owner’s quotes caught my attention (below), so I stuck around a bit. I have had mixed results with media buyers (some were fantastic (see Keystone), but most were marginal to poor) and so I appreciated her quote and added it to my website.

“The dirty little secret in advertising today is media buyers’ inexperience. Pure and simple.” Lee Morrow, CEO (Media Buying Academy)

I then called the CEO, Lee Morrow, to find out more about her course for media-buying professionals. She was very pleasant and told me about her four-day classes throughout the US (48 sessions per year), plus on-site training. I perked up when she mentioned her cassettes and videos. I asked to review her VHS course and she agreed to send me several of the most applicable VHS modules along with the accompanying coursework.

I didn’t dare review all of the material since the entire course has over 24 hours of video!  The four-module cassette course costs $1,398 ($349 per module), or $2,495 for the five-module VHS course ($499 for each module)–they each also include the associated workbook. Check the website to verify pricing.


The Course Material

I was very impressed with the large 17-pound package that arrived at my door (and this was for only 1/2 of the course material). Each course contained two or three videos, plus a massive 3” thick binder (see picture). The material was very well organized, sequential, and above all–very comprehensive. The binders included sample ads, media planning worksheets, overviews, screenshots and samples from software and books, and articles–everything you would ever need to go from “know-nothing” to “master media buyer” all compiled in one place. It was obvious that someone had been at this for a long time.

The Day One video course covers all of the basics and then some:

  • Media terminology
  • How agencies get paid
  • Initial ground rules for negotiation
  • Qualifying and quantifying what you’re buying
  • When to use national versus local reps
  • What information a media sales rep should and should not be privy to, depending on your media type
  • Why you should never tell your demographics
  • Code of Ethics
  • How to validate a medium’s claims (#1, their “claimed” demographics, etc.)
  • Books, software, and services that will help you do proper media-buying research

Day two covers radio, and day three covers television. I didn’t review days two and three since TV and radio are not as prevalent within the high-tech industry. Instead, I jumped straight to day four, which covers newspapers, billboards, transit (buses, subways, and planes), theater, magazines, and media planning. The 4-day course includes the following:

  • Which media type is best for which demographics and purpose
  • Reading and understanding rates cards (for all print media)
  • The difference between circulation and readership
  • How to calculate effective CPM based on circulation, readership, noticeability, and response
  • Contract clauses to lock rate changes, prevent short rates, ensure placement, etc.
  • Which types of placement typically generate the greatest ROI (including unique placements like street or curbside on buses depending on rural or city routes)
  • How to ask for and get value ads like cash discounts, bingo cards, extra ads, participation to research, access to mailing lists, preferred positioning, op-eds, etc.
  • The nine questions you need to answer before creating a media plan
  • How to rationalize every buying decision
  • Plus dozens of good and bad case studies to learn from the experiences of others

My Impressions & Recommendations

The short of it–get this material! You can cover the cost while negotiating your very next media campaign. I almost felt guilty having the binders–they are the kind of resource you might be tempted to steal if you happen to have an hour in a competitive buyer’s work office. This was good stuff. Not only was the material good, but it contained examples from numerous invaluable resources (the video explained the value of each source) that might take years to find on your own.

The video course is well named, “Media Tutor,” since you get to hear directly from the CEO and feel like you are being personally tutored while sitting across the desk from a master media buyer–while she unloads 30 years of hard-earned media buying wisdom! It was a perfect transfer of information from master to apprentice.


I can say that the VHS production quality was “good,” not excellent–but it was very personable –which made up for any lack of glitz.

The video featured Lee, filmed from across a desk, with the workbook in front of her, while she went through it page-by-page–allowing you to make notes on every page of your own included workbook as you followed along.

I’m sure the live course has the advantage of being interactive, but this video series will do the trick, plus allow you to train (and cross-train) your entire ad department without having to leave the office.

As a VP of marketing for several multi-billion dollar corporations, I could have used this course to train new ad managers as we negotiated our campaigns. One ad manager negotiated the media buys on behalf of Netscape, AOL, and other well-known software companies–without knowing a fraction of the material within this course. I can’t imagine the savings she could have gotten if she was armed with this type of information–I will use Lee’s course and materials on an ongoing basis within my ad departments. When we negotiated our ads with PC Magazine, we negotiated the price from $38,000 per page to $8,000–you could pay for this course 10 – 15 times over with a single month’s savings!

After seeing the material, I believe it was highly understated on the website (they should have had pictures, sample video, and audio, detailed testimonials (with logos (used by top consumer companies)). It was a great find and is for media buyers, ad managers, and marketing directors what Pragmatic Marketing’s training is for product managers.

I wholeheartedly recommend this course and give it my highest “FIVE Stars”