Advertisers Seek TV Ad Effectiveness and Accountability- AdAge
"Last year, everybody did a good job of creating change. It's a positive," Donna Speciale, president- investment and activation, MediaVest, said in a panel discussion at the Association of National Advertisers' TV & Everything Video Forum, held in New York on Feb. 28. The panel was moderated by Ad Age's Jonah Bloom.
By Andrew Hampp
Published: February 29, 2008
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- As broadcast ratings continue to erode and marketers lose faith in TV as the go-to reach medium, the onus is on buyers and sellers in this year's upfront marketplace to show its accountability and effectiveness.
Even with the first-step change of last year's upfront to commercial ratings, the industry still has a long way to go before the agencies and clients get the granularity they've been asking for, she added. "The accountability, in the late-night area and early morning, opened all vendors' eyes. It was everything we assumed -- people are not watching commercials."
The increased push for commercial engagement, coupled with the continued depletion in broadcast ratings from the writers strike, has caused buyers such as Ms. Speciale to move significant portions of their clients' budgets to other video-centric media-like cinema. MediaVest was prepared to spend $100 million that was originally earmarked for TV. "The dialogue has changed," Ms. Speciale said. "We've been trying to change the dialogue with our partners for so many years. I truly believe the upfront is going to be different. The clients don't want to buy what's not there."
Supply and demand
The issue of supply and demand has also come under increased scrutiny, particularly as upfront pricing becomes less and less efficient after commercial ratings for shows that underperform and scatter market prices are taken into effect. "The advertising market isn't based on what we pay for programs," said Marianne Gambelli, president-NBC Universal Network ad sales. "If it was, it would be even more inflated. The marketplace, in effect, is still a supply-and-demand marketplace, and when you look at the upfront versus everything else, it actually averages out pretty well."