Workshops and Webinars

How to Buy a Gorilla – Master Class

It has become widely recognised that the interests of marketing, procurement and agencies can often be at odds with one another. As demands are made of all three to do more for less, the heat and pressure in this triangular relationship rises. And, much like the apocryphal story of the frog in increasingly hot water, the advertising business and the brands it services are suffering as the temperature rises and damage is being done to brands and businesses. By the end of 2016 more than half of the Fortune 500 showed declining revenues and it’s doubtful 2017 will have been much better.

The How to Buy a Gorilla Master Class is a pioneering one-day training course developed both to shine a critical light on the problem and to chart a new way forward. By defining and building shared interests between marketers, procurement and agencies we can improve their collective effectiveness and ultimately the client’s business results. At its core, the How to Buy a Gorilla Master Class delivers an objective, actionable framework that clients and agencies alike can understand and use to improve their marketing communications and its return on investment.


  1. How to Buy a Gorilla, key principles – setting out the common context of client/agency transactional and working relationships and the differing interests of marketing, procurement and agencies.
  2. Establishing greater trust in the triangle – what are the qualities of trust, how can we create it and protect it in client/agency relationships? Defining the legitimate business interests of marketing, procurement, and agencies.
  3. What are we trying to achieve? – What is “value” in marketing? Creating a shared language for the breadth and depth of client business problems, their appropriate risk profiles, investment strategies and what they mean to marketers’ businesses.
  4. Agencies – How agencies operate as businesses, how talent operates in agencies. How clients are perceived and prioritised and how clients can better access the kind of talent they need to help achieve their business objective.
  5. Marketing – Examination of working behaviours and processes, in particular, responsibility and control between client and agency in the development of campaigns. Examining clients’ control levels throughout the process and how they should relate to their specific business objectives.
  6. Procurement – Becoming familiar and confident with procurement business models and tools. Understanding the difference between time, effort and value in the way agency value is assessed. Working with buying strategies for marketing services including value-based pricing and remuneration. Applying buying strategies across the marketing mix.
  7. Working with the How to Buy a Gorilla framework – Case study exercises in groups, using the principles and tools from the day to design new relationships that will better solve specific client business problems.
  8. Change plans – Summary of the workshop and answering the big question: what will you do differently tomorrow?

Senior marketing, procurement, and agency leadership – those responsible for the client/agency relationship at a high level within the client and agency organisations.

For this to be truly effective we need everyone to bring their unique perspective and point of view: agency, marketing & procurement leads. Agencies: reach out to a client marketing and/or procurement lead and attend the How to Buy a Gorilla Master Class as a team for maximum benefit. This is a rare & progressive Master Class and relationship building opportunity.

For special team pricing please reach out to leah@theica.ca.

David Meikle, Founder, How to Buy a Gorilla

David is an innovator and a problem solver. He has worked on some of the world’s biggest brands in an advertising career spanning more than two decades including Grey, O&M and latterly as Group MD of Ogilvy Russia. A consultant and trainer since 2009, David’s business, The How to Buy a Gorilla Company, helps all corners of the marketing, procurement, agency triangle create greater value for the advertiser through marketing transformation, pitch management, training, and workshops.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. - Registration & breakfast
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. – Session
12:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Lunch
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Session

Institute of Communication Agencies
2300 Yonge St. (Yonge/Eglinton)
30th floor
Toronto, Ontario M4P 1E4


  • The workshop is limited to twenty participants.
  • Lunch is not provided.

Registration Policy:

  • Registration is not refundable but is transferable. Please notify us if you plan on transferring your registration ticket to another attendee.
  • ICA reserves the right to cancel this program should enrolment levels fall short of guidelines and in the case of program cancellation by ICA all registration fees will be returned in full.

Advancing Negotiation Skills Workshop

2 ½ Days of Intensive Training

May 28, 29 & 30, 2018

+++ Course provides an average 9.86 x ROI within 3 months +++

The ICA's Advancing Negotiation Skills course in partnership with Scotwork is the ultimate in negotiation skills development. It provides participants with the core skills they need to negotiate confidently in a professional, ethical and competent manner.

The Scotwork 8-Step Approach

You’ll learn both the theory and practice. The unique Scotwork method is based upon an understanding that all negotiations have an underlying structure: The 8-Step Approach. With their unique Case Play method, participants are actively involved in realistic negotiating exercises. Cases are selected to replicate real-life issues and are combined with a series of engaging 45-minute lectures. In a typical half-day module, participants take part in team preparation and team negotiation, followed by a video replay to evaluate performance.

Experience five opportunities to learn:

  • From the lecture
  • By preparing to negotiate
  • By watching others negotiate
  • By negotiating
  • From video analysis and expert coaching

The course also provides a group discussion session. This session is vital because that is when problems, difficulties and issues can be raised and debated. It is also when our expert and engaging tutors will provide individual negotiation advice.

Maximum Return on your Investment

How can we be so sure? Because Scotwork run an ongoing survey of participants and managers. Average ROI within the first three months is nearly ten times the course fee.

It consistently reveals:

  • 96% of participants reported improved negotiating performance
  • 98% of managers say that the training investment was worthwhile
  • 71% report more satisfying negotiations plus an improved level of confidence
  • 99% would recommend the course
  • 51% say the benefit increases over time

Unlike many training courses, the benefits of the Scotwork course increase over time.

Over 100 powerful, practical and effective teaching points covering:

  • Negotiate your way out of conflict
  • Consider the five major issues in preparation
  • Use active listening techniques to pick up signals
  • Use constructive questioning
  • Make, pitch and respond to proposals
  • Re-package deals without spending any more
  • Assess concessions and identify priorities
  • Effectively trade and bargain
  • Improve recognition and use of closing opportunities
  • Handle agreement and implementation stages
  • Make and respond to multiple-pointed claims
  • Defuse aggression and confrontation
  • Handle deadlocks
  • Use team negotiating skills
  • Respond to common negotiating tactics
  • Build partnership relationships with clients or suppliers
  • Learn the secrets of win/win deals

Who Should Attend?

This course is appropriate for anyone who has authority to negotiate or vary the terms of any arrangement; indeed, any detail on price, timing, priority, specification or employment can benefit. Scotwork industry experience and training covers all sectors of commerce, industry and corporate negotiation.


Click here to hear Rick Brook, SVP Global Client Operations, WPP on his experience with this course.

"If you have negotiators on your payroll and do not offer this opportunity, then you are giving away substantial revenue off your bottom line." - Michael Neale, Chief Commercial Officer, Mediacom Canada.

Registration Policy:

  • Registration is not refundable but is transferable. Please notify us if you plan on transferring your registration ticket to another attendee.
  • ICA reserves the right to cancel this program should enrolment levels fall short of guidelines and in the case of program cancellation by ICA all registration fees will be returned in full.




For more information, contact:
ICA Professional Development Office
By email.