8 Steps to Selling Co-Op Advertising to Local Advertisers

Many local media organizations are either not getting the most out of co-op advertising or completely ignore these funds. Various industry estimates indicate the market is worth nearly $40 billion (or more). Yet between 40% and 50% of co-op funds go unused every year.

The biggest roadblock is a lack of awareness and understanding. Local media organizations often struggle to understand and sell co-op. Meanwhile, local advertisers aren’t asking for co-op because most don’t realize the money exists.

To remove complexity and operationalize selling co-op dollars, many local media organizations work with a co-op advertising enablement company. However you approach co-op, here are the basic steps in the process:


Before meeting with a local advertiser, identify available co-op brand programs for that advertiser’s category. Once you’ve identified these brands and documented them in your presentation or collateral, study the program requirements.


During local advertiser discussions, provide a basic overview of what co-op is and how it works. Explain the benefits of co-op (extend ad budgets, broaden reach, name brand recognition, etc.).


Using the list of relevant co-op programs, determine the advertisers’ most successful products eligible for co-op funds. Focus on only one or two programs.


Go into more depth regarding the eligible programs. Discuss the proposed media offerings, the reimbursement rate, the rules and any other applicable information you’ve prepared.

Get Buy-In

Ask the local advertiser to sign an “Accrual Form,” which provides the advertiser’s account number with the manufacturer. This keeps the process moving forward, allowing you to obtain the actual co-op dollar amount available to that advertiser.

Sometimes local advertisers utilize a dealer/retailer portal for the brands they sell. Often these tools will show how much co-op funding is available to the advertiser. Get access to these accounts if that is the case.

Prior Approval

Send the Accrual Form and the spec ad creative(s) to the brand for review. The brand will likely respond with the co-op dollar amount available and ad approval within 24-72 hours.

Follow Up

Meet or speak with the local advertiser and confirm the available co-op funds amount and the fact that you’ve received ad approval.


With the ad approved and the funds available, close the deal! Discuss the campaign(s) and explain the remaining process and timeline.

LSA offers a variety of co-op advertising services to help make the most of these funds. Click here to learn more, or feel free to contact me directly at with any of your questions.

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