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Advertisers Want to Talk to Networks About Ditching Integration Fee

Feb 26, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Major advertisers and media buyers want to sit down with ABC, CBS and NBC to discuss the integration fees they charge sponsors.
The fee originally covered the cost of integrating commercials into the networks’ programming stream. Now, even though spots no longer need to be manually integrated, the advertisers say, the networks still collect about $125 million in fees each year.
The fee had been an issue for advertisers even before Tuesday’s formal request by the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers for the networks to join an integration fee task force and meet before the upfront sales season.
In previous studies of ANA members, 87% of those surveyed answered “no” when asked, “Is it fair to be charged network integration fees by ABC, CBS and NBC?”
Fox, the CW, MyNetworkTV and the cable networks do not charge an integration fee.
“These fees place an unwarranted burden on marketers,” said Bob Liodice, president-CEO of the ANA.
“We strongly encourage ABC, CBS and NBC to reconsider this practice, as a measure of good faith toward marketers, whose sponsorship enables networks to keep their programming on air,” Mr. Liodice said.
“Our members are at the mercy of the networks here,” said Nancy Hill, president of the AAAA. “The old processes of integrating commercials into media are no longer necessary in this digital era, but airing commercials on these major networks is.
“We look forward to having the chance to discuss this matter with the networks in a fair and balanced way.”
The fees will be discussed at the ANA’s Television & Everything Video Forum on Thursday and at the Four A’s Media Conference & Tradeshow in early March.
ABC and CBS declined to comment, while NBC said in a statement, “We prefer to discuss these issues directly with our clients.”
2:15: Updated with network comments

9 Comments

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