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CBS Accepts Invitation to Discuss Integration Fees-Adweek

CBS Agrees to Join Task Force on Fees

May 23, 2008

By Steve McClellan

NEW YORK CBS has accepted an invitation to join a task force formed by the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies to examine the practice of charging network integration fees, according to the ANA.

CBS representatives did not immediately respond to calls seeking separate confirmation.

Both NBC and ABC have declined to participate, according to ANA evp Bill Duggan, who provided an update on the integration fee issue in the ANA's marketing blog.

ABC, CBS and NBC are the only broadcast TV networks that charge such fees, which advertisers and media agencies have called antiquated. The fees have been in place for decades, initially imposed when ads had to be physically inserted into programs in a process that cost the networks extra time and money. But now the process is handled electronically and agencies and advertisers say the costs are no longer justified.

"These fees place an unwarranted burden on marketers," said Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA, in February, when the two trade groups first announced their intention to form the task force.

...

In his blog entry, Duggan said that both NBC and ABC said they would prefer to discuss the issue directly with clients instead of through a third party task force. The NBC response came from Mike Pilot, president, ad sales, NBC Universal Television, said Duggan. "We promptly responded to Mike to assure him that we would indeed include his clients in the proposed task force, yet NBC continued to decline."

A meeting with CBS is in the process of being scheduled, Duggan said, adding, "We appreciate that CBS has provided the opportunity to discuss this. And we are disappointed that ABC and NBC have chosen not to have that dialogue."

Read the full story.

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