Legal counsel on demand for Ads & Data

Legal counsel on demand for Ads & Data

Customer story

Contracts Lab

Ads & Data is the national advertising management agency of Telenet/SBS, Mediahuis, Pebble Media, and Proximus Skynet. The new venture combines strong local and international media brands with the power of high-quality data selection.

Ads & Data is well equipped to become a significant game-changer in the Belgian advertising world. The media brands of the alliance reach millions of Flemish people every day; in the case of TV, this is even more than 80%.


Ads & Data is a joint venture between Telenet/SBS, Mediahuis, Pebble Media and Proximus Skynet. While each of those businesses has a high-quality legal team of its own, the shareholders’ legal
teams could not take on the legal function of another large business in addition to their pre-existing demanding duties. That
is why, sooner rather than later, the question would arise as to how to address the legal needs of Ads & Data.

Ads & Data considered various approaches to tackle this challenge:

  1.  Hiring a legal counsel permanently;
  2. insourcing an interim legal counsel;
  3. not having an in-house legal support function.

Each of these options has drawbacks and was therefore not ideal.

The main problem in making a decision was the uncertainty about the workload and the nature of the legal work involved.

Hiring a legal counsel is neither cheap nor flexible. Also, putting in place an interim legal manager didn’t seem the ideal solution. That would have required Ads & Data to commit to a fixed term, a set number of days per week, or a fixed fee, while that was precisely what Ads & Data wanted to avoid. The uncertainty needed to be translated into a flexible solution that hiring or interim management couldn’t offer.

Not having an in-house legal support function was not an option either, as it would increase the business’s risk exposure in a highly regulated environment or simply increase lawyers’ fees.

Ask Q offers a truly customized solution. Since we do not have a dedicated in-house legal team and our legal needs may fluctuate over time, Ask Q’s flexible,on-demand solution is precisely what we need. In addition to the flexibility, we are delighted with how Ask Q blends in and focuses on our business priorities.

Bart Decoster

Bart Decoster

CEO Ads & Data


1. An on-demand in-house legal team with no fixed commitment

Ask Q recognized the need to offer a flexible solution. It was essential to Ads & Data that the legal function could scale with the needs of the business, which fluctuates over time. Ask Q was able to offer precisely that by dedicating a legal consultant acting as a single point of contact (SPOC), backed by a team of other legal experts. That way, Ads & Data was sure that if legal questions or needs peaked, Ask Q would quickly absorb the workload. Ads & Data wouldn’t need to compromise on a specific number of days per month. That is why Ask Q’s solution was considered more cost-effective.


2. Speaking the business’s language

Ads & Data doesn’t have a dedicated in-house legal team yet. Whoever is responsible for addressing the company’s legal needs must interact with the business directly. That is often how Ask Q works, and that is why Ask Q’s legal experts are meticulously trained and mentored to interact and blend in with the business. Using this approach, Ask Q can focus on the business priorities of Ads & Data while making sure its legal risks are covered.


3. The ability to address a broad range of complex issues

When setting up a new legal function, it is crucial to address a broad range of issues. Whoever offers legal support must handle a variety of matters, ranging from commercial contracts/issues to data privacy questions and corporate issues. The SPOC that Ask Q put in place is never working alone. A team behind the SPOC can step in and help address that broad range of complex issues. That way, the proximity of the (generalist) SPOC is combined with the expertise of other people of the Ask Q team. Ask Q was founded by and has the full backing of Quinz. Quinz is a top-tier Benelux law firm. Through Quinz, the SPOC from Ask Q has access to a network of top-quality lawyers and consultants, allowing Ask Q to cover a broad range of legal matters. What is more, this minimizes the need for Ads & Data to outsource legal work to a specialized law firm – which ultimately makes the Ask Q solution even more cost-effective.


4. Extensive reporting to prepare for a future legal function

Ask Q recognized Ads & Data’s uncertainty regarding the volume and types of legal questions that would arise. As a result, Ask Q paired its offering with extensive reporting, so that over time, the management at Ads & Data would gain more detailed insights that would allow it to review how the company will source its legal needs in the future. This also means that the legal workstream will not remain a black box.

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Ads & Data now has a dedicated Ask Q team that can address many of the legal questions arising from the business. Since the project got under way, Ask Q has supported Ads & Data by drafting template agreements and the general terms and conditions. Ask Q has also addressed many questions from the business on various topics, including GDPR and set up policies governing who can sign what contract.

Ask Q takes on-demand literally. Some weeks, Ask Q was required to work the equivalent of one or even two full-time employees, while in other weeks, only one part-time employee was required, or even less. Ads & Data also received bi-weekly updates with a detailed overview of work performed and planned. These updates are broken down into buckets (with an allocation of where time is spent most) so that Ads & Data can use this data for future purposes.

Finally, Ask Q is also proactively engaging with the business to ensure that legal forms an integral part of business processes. For example, Ask Q reviewed how contract life cycle management was conducted and made suggestions about how to improve the tracking and sharing of contracts across the business.


Finally, the handover was done in a professional and detailed manner, ensuring that AG’s new hire was quickly up-to-speed. Should AG need any legal support in the future, Ask Q will be able to leverage its earlier experience.

Working with Ads & Data is wonderful. As a fellow game-changer, we are thrilled to help Ads & Data with our capacity-on-demand solutions. What is more, our hands-on approach is a true match with their business culture.

Rémy Bonnaffé

Rémy Bonnaffé

Head of Ask Q's Legal Operations Lab

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