Ivory soap floats, but cash sinks to the bottom line

Oct 27, 2003  •  Post A Comment

“Nip/Tuck” may be one of cable TV’s most-watched new series, but some advertisers have stayed away. It isn’t hard to see why. A disclaimer warns viewers that the show contains scenes of violence, strong language, adult situations and nudity. That may have scared away squeaky-clean Procter & Gamble, maker of Ivory soap, but a line of other sponsors paid top dollar for placement in last week’s season finale. Among them were Jack Daniels, Finlandia Vodka, Captain Morgan Rum, Bacardi Silver Raz Malt Beverage, Michelob beer, Panasonic plasma HD TV sets, several movies and Fox’s new show “Skin.” “We got the highest CPMs in the history of the network,” said Bruce Lefkowitz, executive VP of ad sales at Fox Cable Networks Group. He noted the controversial show launched after the upfront and sold out during the weak third and fourth quarters. “This isn’t a show we can sell to everybody. No bones about that,” Mr. Lefkowitz said. “We’d like to have more categories bidding, but we’re doing very well.”