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Media Agencies Start Sending Upfront Spending Plans

Jun 7, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Media agencies have begun sending spending plans to the broadcast television networks, the first step in the upfront negotiations process, sources said.
One buyer said that Fox and ABC have received plans from about half the agencies. Fewer agencies are ready to work with CBS, NBC and the CW. Agencies with movie studios as clients are usually among the first to act in order to lock up spots on Thursday nights so they can promote weekend film release dates.
This year’s upfront, the TV-ad market where about 70 percent of ad time is spoken for, has begun slower than usual as buyers and sellers sort out the new issue of commercial ratings. Buyers said they don’t expect to get a response from the networks until next week on their spending plans.
The networks respond to spending plans by providing packages of commercials for each of the agency’s clients. This year, those packages are being reviewed more carefully at the networks because of the new audience-measurement metrics, which count viewers of commercials instead of just programs.
Pricing discussions will begin in earnest after the packages are received by the agencies. The networks are expected to be bullish in their pricing, based on the strength of the recent scatter market, where commercial slots are purchased closer to airtime. But buyers believe demand for TV ad time is flat, and want to see little price inflation.
(Editor: Baumann)

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