Nike Yanks 'Bullet in the Chamber' Ad After Olympian Is Charged With Murder

Nike has yanked an ad featuring Olympic runner and murder suspect Oscar Pistorius, with the ad’s copy reading, "I am the bullet in the chamber," reports Advertising Age.

The ad was pulled from Pistorius' website Thursday, the piece notes. The ad has become part of a debate over how the advertising industry should use violent terms and images, the story notes.

Pistorius, a double amputee who earned the nickname “Blade Runner” because of his carbon-fiber blades, was charged with the Valentine's Day shooting death of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, as previously reported.

"Nike extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families concerned following this tragic incident," the company said in a statement. "As it is a police matter, Nike will not comment further at this time."


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Moonves: Don't Look for CBS to Tinker Much With Its Programming

CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves told analysts Thursday that the network is in good shape for the fall and “we aren’t going to need very much” in the way of new programming, reports

Nevertheless, he said CBS "ordered a couple of more pilots than in previous years." He added, "My guess is there aren’t going to be a lot of new shows” when the network reveals its schedule at its upfront presentation to advertisers in May.

“Moonves was uncharacteristically reluctant to say how big a price increase he expects in this year’s upfront,” the report adds. “My sales department will kill me,” Moonves said. “Last year I said double digits [percent increase] and we only had 9%.”

Moonves added: “I’m feeling very confident.”

“But he may have to wait before advertisers are ready to go along with his proposal to measure commercial viewers based on the number of people who see them on DVRs or other platforms up to a week after they air -- up from the current three days,” the report notes.

Said Moonves: “We’re in conversations with advertisers,” but he added: “I don’t know if it will be ready for this upfront.”

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Don Johnson Quietly Pockets $19 Million

Veteran actor Don Johnson, known for his work on the era-defining “Miami Vice” in the 1980s, is “quietly pocketing $19 million in a settlement with the company that produced his long-ago CBS crime series, ‘Nash Bridges,’” The New York Times reports.

The agreement, signed Jan. 30 in Los Angeles, ends a three-year legal battle between Johnson and Rysher Entertainment. The dispute was over Johnson’s share of syndications from the show, which had its original CBS run from 1996 to 2001.

“A jury awarded Mr. Johnson $50 million in profits and interest three years ago, but Rysher appealed to try to get the total reduced,” The Times reports. “In the end, Mr. Johnson agreed to a settlement of $15 million and interest.”

The piece notes that similar battles between performers and producers over syndication profits are relatively common.

“James Garner, for example, sued Universal Studios’ television arm for more than a decade to win profits from his hit series ‘The Rockford Files,’” the story notes. “More recently, the late Jack Klugman won a settlement in 2012 after suing Universal for profits on his hit NBC show ‘Quincy.’”

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NBCUniversal Beefs Up Ad Sales Group

NBCUniversal announced personnel moves today that bring a number of top sales execs on board with the advertising division.

The new arrivals are Laura Molen, Peter Lazarus, Lou Koskovolis and Katie Larkin.

In a statement announcing the hires, Linda Yaccarino, President of Sales for NBCUniversal, said: “With a world-class portfolio of brands, it only makes sense to bring on some of the industry’s best sales executives to join our NBCUniversal team. Laura, Peter, Lou and Katie are all leaders in their field. They’re strategic, creative and analytical in their approach, and they know how to ‘think big.’ Their addition rounds out our senior leadership team and positions us perfectly to present our unified, industry-leading portfolio to the marketplace.”

The statement adds: “Laura Molen is joining the company as EVP, Cable Advertising Sales, overseeing sales efforts for USA, Syfy, E!, G4, Chiller, Cloo and WWE. Peter Lazarus is joining NBCUniversal as the SVP of Cable Ad Sales, responsible for USA, SyFy, Cloo, Chiller and WWE. Lou Koskovolis has been named SVP, Sales & Sales Marketing for NBC Sports Groups’ Golf Media, responsible for all sales and sponsorship efforts involving the group’s golf properties; and Katie Larkin has joined the company as SVP, Ad Sales Strategy.

Molen will report directly to Yaccarino. She joins the company from Univision Communications, where she was EVP, Network Sales and Marketing since 2011. “In that role she was charged with bringing Univision into the digital video and general market landscape and was responsible for overseeing national ad sales and integrated marketing for the network, driving nearly $2 billion in revenue,” NBCU stated.

The announcement adds: “Lazarus, who will report directly to Molen, joins the company from USA Today, where he has been the SVP, Head of Multimedia Sales for the USA Today Sports Media Group since 2011. In that role, he was responsible for sales of all sports content across Gannett-owned properties.”

“Koskovolis, who will report to Seth Winter, EVP, NBC Sports Group Sales & Sales Marketing, will be responsible for all sales and sponsorship efforts for NBC Sports Group’s Golf Media, which includes Golf Channel, Golf Channel on NBC and a portfolio of golf-related digital platforms and events,” the company’s announcement states. “He will oversee on-air and digital sales, as well as develop sponsorship events and opportunities spanning the various platforms. Koskovolis joins the company from MLB, where he was the SVP of Corporate Sales and Marketing since 2011 responsible for all corporate sales and sponsorship efforts on behalf of MLB properties.”

The statement adds: “Larkin, who reports directly to Trish Frohman, EVP, Ad Sales Strategy, is responsible for defining and developing TV and digital cross -platform sales strategy across the entire NBCUniversal portfolio. She joined the company from Turner Entertainment Networks (TBS, TNT, TRU) where she was SVP, Ad Sales Research & Strategy.”

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Congressman's Staffer Fired Over Response to Sexy '2 Broke Girls' Spot

Following a Super Bowl commercial in which the two stars of CBS’s “2 Broke Girls” danced around a stripper pole, a spokesperson for Republican Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador was fired over a tweet he sent about the spot, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"’Me likey Broke Girls,’ wrote Phil Hardy after seeing the show's stars, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, eat diner food seductively and hang from a stripper pole in skimpy waitress outfits,” the piece reports.

Hardy sent the tweet by mistake, the story says, using Rep. Labrador’s account. The piece cites a report in the Idaho Statesman.

“The tweet came down 14 seconds later -- not long enough to prevent it from being captured and circulated throughout the Internet,” the report notes. “Labrador's district director, Jake Ball, tells the Statesman that the congressman made the call to fire Hardy, who had worked for him since 2010.”


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Is It Possible CBS Lost Money on the Super Bowl Despite Selling $240 Million in Ads? Not When You Calculate All the Money the Game Brings In to the Network in Other Ways

Updated on 2/8/13 at 10:20 a.m. to reflect information in a Los Angeles Times story on this same subject, in both our headline and the body of this item. We needed to have reported on the Times account in our original reporting of this story, and we apologize to our readers and CBS for not doing so.

"In a new report, the industry consulting firm SNL Kagan says CBS 'likely broke even or lost a little money' on its broadcast of the Super Bowl last Sunday," writes Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times' Company Town blog.

But as Flint then quickly notes, "But that calculation might be a little too simple for something as complex as figuring out whether the Super Bowl was as happy an event for CBS as it was for the Baltimore Ravens, who beat the San Francisco 49ers to win the Lombardi Trophy."

And Indeed, a CBS spokesman said that the NFL and Super Bowl were profitable.

As reports in its coverage of the Kagan report, Kagan claims that the broadcast of the Super Bowl brought in about $240 million. But, says TheWrap, CBS paid about $220 million for the rights to broadcast the game, the Kagan report notes.

However, Flint, in his account, notes the revenues that Kagan did not include in its calculations. "Kagan seems to be forgetting that CBS also owns dozens of TV stations -- including outlets in Baltimore and San Francisco -- that had local commercial spots to sell in the game, and those spots went for a premium too. Maybe not the close to $4 million per 30 seconds that the network got, but there were lots of high six-figure and even seven-figure deals there. Overall, the network took in tens of millions in local advertising, a CBS spokesman said. In New York alone, CBS sold local commercials for more than a million dollars per-spot.

"CBS also sold ads for the Internet coverage of the game, which was basically found money for the network."

Flint also details the "halo" effect CBS gets from carrying both the NFL and, every several years, the Super Bowl. As Flint notes, having this programming translates to real monies for CBS in these other ways, such as in increased retrans fees. Plus, the network uses both the NFL and the Super Bowl to promote other programming, which can ultimately increase ratings for those shows and bring in more revenue to the network.

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Ad Sales Under Way for 2014 Super Bowl -- With the Game's Venue One Factor That Could Push Up Prices

Sales of advertising time for the 2014 Super Bowl have already begun, and the city where the game will be played could have an impact on prices -- at least if Fox can successfully make that pitch, reports Brian Steinberg in Advertising Age.

Fox has started to reach out to advertisers about next year's game, which is set for New York. Steinberg writes that the discussions are "part of broader talks with marketers about supporting Fox sports-oriented media outlets."

“In these wide discussions, Fox executives have cited the New York setting for Super Bowl XLVIII, and the excitement the location will bring to the proceedings, according to one media-buying executive familiar with the tone of the talks,” Steinberg writes. “This executive also suggested Fox would seek to secure an increase in the price of Super Bowl ad inventory.”

How will the recent CBS Super Bowl broadcast impact Fox’s prospects? It remains to be seen.

"CBS saw ratings for Super Bowl XLVII decline from the year-earlier broadcast on NBC, the first time Super Bowl ratings have declined since 2005," Steinberg notes.

He continues, "Fox could experience some advertiser pushback," citing a discussion with a media-buying executive who spoke with Fox. The economy might still be an issue, with advertisers unwilling to justify a big unit rate if it means cutting buys in other programming, the story notes.

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ABC's Oscars Telecast Sells Out of Ad Time -- Fast

ABC announced that its Academy Awards telecast has sold out of commercial time, with the sellout coming at the fastest pace for the telecast in more than a decade.

The Oscars were virtually sold out by Christmas, the network revealed. The show is set to air Sunday, Feb. 24.

The network is fetching about $1.7 million to $1.85 million for the telecast, a rate increase from last year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Among the performers lined up for this year’s Oscars are Barbra Streisand, Adele and Norah Jones. Recently announced presenters include Meryl Streep, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer. The ceremony will feature a tribute to the James Bond movie franchise.

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Which Advertiser Made the Most of Its Super Bowl Spots? It's Not Even Close

One advertiser appears to have reached far more viewers with its Super Bowl commercials than the rest, based on Kantar Media Audiences commercial ratings. But that advertiser isn’t like the rest, either.

Based on the Kantar research, the advertiser that got its message out to the widest audience was CBS.

“In the biggest TV event of the year, the highest-rated commercial wasn’t even an ad -- it was a promo,” Kantar announced. “Based on Kantar Media Audiences commercial ratings analysis for Sunday’s Super Bowl telecast on CBS, the network’s promo for ‘Person of Interest’ scored the highest rating, edging Samsung’s ad featuring celebrities in search of the ‘Next Big Thing.’”

CBS also ran more spots than anyone else -- by a lot. “CBS ran 42 promotional spots during the Super Bowl, accounting for about 43% of the entire big game commercial inventory,” Kantar noted.

Among the traditional marketers, the automotive sector fared the best. “Automotive brands scored 6 of the top 10 rated ads (excluding promos) -- with the Mercedes Benz leading the lot with 46.6, followed by Kia Trucks, Dodge, Lincoln, Kia and Bridgestone,” Kantar announced. “Tide’s Miracle Stain was the 4th highest spot, earning a 46.5, and Soda Stream completing the top 5 with a 46.3 rating.”

The top-performing spots ran during the two-minute warning near the end of the game.

“As with most Super Bowls, the audience tended to stay with the game and not change channels,” Kantar reports. “Even during the power outage, there was no discernible audience loss.”

Here are the top-rated spots, with airtime (ET), HH Rating (%) and length of the spot in seconds:

2013 Top-Rated Super Bowl Commercials

1. CBS-Person Of Interest/CBS: Person of Interest Promo
10:31:06 PM, 47.4, 20 seconds

2. Samsung Galaxy/Celebrities Argue Over Next Big Thing
10:29:06 PM, 47.2, 120

3. Mercedes Benz Autos/W. Dafoe & K. Upton: Soul
10:21:41 PM, 46.6, 60

4. Tide/Miracle Stain
10:13:54 PM, 46.5, 60

5. Soda Stream/Bubbles Set Free
10:14:54 PM, 46.3, 30

6. Kia Trucks/Space Babies
10:05:51 PM, 46.2, 60

7. CBS-Hawaii Five-O/CBS: Hawaii Five-O Promo
10:22:41 PM, 46.2, 20

8. CBS-Elementary/CBS: Elementary Promo
9:59:27 PM, 46.1, 20

9. CBS-Job/CBS: The Job Promo
10:23:01 PM, 46.1, 20

10. CBS Cares/PSA/Wounded Warrior Donation Solicitation
10:06:51 PM, 45.9, 20

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Actor in Reviled Super Bowl Ad Reveals He's Headed to Hit Sitcom

The 34-year-old actor who appeared in one of the most disliked ads of this year’s Super Bowl said he will appear next in CBS's "The Big Bang Theory," according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.

Actor Jesse Heiman starred as the geek in GoDaddy's ad featuring model Bar Refaeli. The pair kissed for 10 seconds in the ad, with the concept being that the Web firm has both a sexy and a smart side. The spot was ranked as the worst ad by USA Today's Ad Meter, as previously reported. The ad can be seen by clicking here.

Heiman will appear in the Feb. 14 episode of "The Big Bang Theory." The story notes that he has appeared as an extra on the show for several years. His role in the Feb. 14 episode is nonspeaking.


Jesse Heiman

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Marketer Whose Super Bowl Ads Came Under Fire Will Sit Out the Big Game

TVBizwire | January 22, 2013

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TVBizwire | January 16, 2013

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TVBizwire | January 11, 2013

CNET Owner CBS Corp. Pulls One of CNET's Best of Consumer Electronics Show Awards. Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, Cries 'Censorship'

TVBizwire | January 11, 2013

ABC Fetching Higher Ad Prices for Oscars