Bicoastal cable buys on horizon

Jan 21, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Cable interconnects in the nation’s two largest markets, New York and Los Angeles, are discussing linking together so advertisers can make a single giant bicoastal local-cable buy.
That plan for cooperation between New York Interconnect and L.A.-based Adlink will go forward despite the departure of Charles Thurston, Adlink’s president and CEO for the past nine years, who is leaving the company to become Comcast Cable’s president of advertising sales.
Adlink and NYI envision that advertisers will be able to customize a single bicoastal buy and with a single contract reach different demographic and socioeconomic concentrations of viewers with various customized messages. Those viewers will be targeted by ZIP codes in geographic areas across Southern California and the New York tri-state area, and they might be watching any one of scores of different cable networks.
“Down the road, we would expect to see big additional bucks [from this joint effort],” said Eglon Simons, NYI senior VP and general manager. “In the short term, we would hope it would increase [cable’s] share of dollars that are spent in our markets.”
Taken together as cable markets, New York and L.A. represent “maybe 14 percent of the country,” Mr. Simon said. “That’s a lot of impact.”
The first step toward joint-targeted New York and L.A. cable ad buys is the recent one-year licensing deal that NYI made for Adlink’s Adtag and Adcopy audience segmentation products.
Adtag allows advertisers to run the same commercial throughout a television market while customizing it by displaying a different dealer, franchise or retail tag for different locations. And Adcopy enables advertisers to run different commercials simultaneously throughout a market, offering, say, an SUV to some viewers, a sports car to others.
“This is in response to client needs,” said Ms. Lins. “In the course of the years that we’ve offered Adtag and Adcopy, we’ve lost business because they were only available in one market. … The fact that we now offer it in New York is a big benefit.”
Adlink and NYI will “work together, market together and plan together,” Mr. Simons said, but they will remain two separate entities, even as they offer joint opportunities to advertisers. “This is two independent markets talking,” Mr. Simons said.
L.A.’s Adlink reaches nearly 3.5 million households across 44 cable networks. The New York Interconnect reaches more than 3.6 million households across 31 cable networks.