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SFM MEDIA LOOKS TO HOLD NIKE TO ITS WORD
Published July 11, 1995
SFM Media Corp, which was recently terminated as Nike's media buyer when Nike consolidated its media operations at Wieden & Kennedy, is looking to "hold" Nike to a long-term contract that could "cost it millions," according to AD AGE. While "ad industry practice" does not usually call for terminated agencies getting compensation for work performed prior to being "fired," as AD AGE states, SFM claims to have specifically worded its contract to deal with this kind of situation. As a result, SFM is negotiating with Nike to pay commissions on more than $100M in media buys SFM claims to have placed through '98, including buys on NBC's NBA coverage, CBS coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament, and CBS coverage of the '98 Olympics. AD AGE's Mandese & Jensen note that an executive close to the dispute estimates more than $1M in commissions are at stake. According to Loeb and Loeb Partner David Carlin, no court ruling has ever tested the trade practice, though several disputes have been settled out of court (AD AGE, 7/10).