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‘They Know Damn Well What They’re Buying’

Feb 9, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Jon Mandel, co-CEO of MediaCom Worldwide, said none of his clients are re-evaluating whether to advertise on MTV following the Super Bowl debacle. His clients spent a total of $3.4 billion on media last year. “The issue is you know what you get,” Mr. Mandel said, comparing it to advertisers upset by `Jerry Springer.’
“People the first year went crazy. I understand why they pulled out. But once you’re in year four of it, you know what you’re getting when you buy it,” he said. “I think the issue here with the Super Bowl was you didn’t realize you were getting what you were getting. And frankly, even there, I don’t have any clients that are upset about it. Most of my clients know enough about how television is produced to know that there was no avoiding this.”
TelevisionWeek: Does this hurt the Super Bowl going forward?
Jon Mandel: Not at all. The only mistake was that all the talent in the Super Bowl appealed to the same audience. Previously it appealed to more people. While this appealed to a very narrow segment of the audience, back in the days when they did Up with People, that appealed to a very narrow segment.
Ideally you want to have talent that appeals to a broad segment of the audience, but I do not believe this harms the Super Bowl one bit.
TVWeek: What do you hear about AOL, which sponsored the halftime show?
Mr. Mandel: The only thing with AOL is that part of what they were paying for was being able to stream the show. But frankly, they probably should stream it. It would be the most streamed thing there’s ever been on the Internet.
TVWeek: Will there be a re-examination among media buyers of what MTV culture is all about and whether it’s good for America?
Mr. Mandel: Anybody that does shouldn’t have been buying it. You’re supposed to watch the shows you buy before you buy it. Anybody that pulls out now because of this is really being disingenuous because they know damn well what they’re buying.
TVWeek: Even at the senior level of the clients?
Mr. Mandel: Absolutely. They all have kids. A lot of the reason they’re buying MTV is because their kids watch it.