In Three Words, NBC Boss Identifies ‘the Crux of the Problem’ for the TV Business

Nov 28, 2017  •  Post A Comment

NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt needed just three words to define the problem facing the TV business this morning at a forum in L.A. on advertising, measurement and the state of television. Said Greenblatt: “Consumers hate advertising.”

Greenblatt did elaborate during the two-hour mini-conference, hosted by NBCUniversal and attended by network, tech and ad executives.

Deadline quotes Greenblatt saying: “People are running away from advertising in droves, and so that, to me, is the crux of the problem. How do we stop that from happening?”

Noting that his background is mainly in programming rather than advertising, Greenblatt added: “We have to figure out … ways to make those interruptions a lot more palatable, a lot more entertaining, a lot more relational, or they’re going to keep going. And going and going and going.”

Deadline reports: “Speakers on four panel sessions came from the likes of Fox, YouTube, Twitter, Y&R, MasterCard, McDonald’s, IBM and the NHL. The overall discussion yielded more bullet-point messages than genuine sparks as brands, agencies and programmers took up the existential question of where exactly the 80-year-old medium of television is headed.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to Deadline to read the full report.


  1. “Consumers hate advertising.”

    Close, but no cigar. Consumers hate BAD advertising. I remember when Geno Polucci (sp?) out of Minnesota made Geno’s Pizza Rolls. I still remember the TV commercial that ran for this product in the 1960s. I still remember the radio commercial on WLS in 1963 for “Greasy Kid Stuff”. I would BUY a DVD of nothing but Jack In The Box commercials. And I am one of those who ignores commercials with a passion. I also used to make them for 3 radio stations.

    Granted, being in broadcasting, I must be a little crazy. But, I fully believe if you make a good, entertaining, commercial, people will watch it.

    Here’s the Geno’s Pizza Roll commercial: (Thank you Stan Frieberg.)


  2. PS. To fully understand the sight gags in this commercial, you also have to know about Lark Cigarettes commercials, and the special guest stars at the end. Pure genius.

    • It’s a testament to Stan’s genius humor that commercial ever got made. Clayton Moore was very protective of the Lone Ranger image, especially in regards to kids. He probably wasn’t happy about the use of the William Tell Overture to sell cigarettes. Maybe it was the chance to take a dig at the Lark people that sold him on it.

      And, of course, the great Jay Silverheels gets to have the last laugh.

  3. Good point Scott. But I don’t think Mr. Greenblatt would ever agree with some hick from “fly over country.”

  4. You can make commercials the issue. And the new 15 second brand interruptions during sports events make me not want to give a dime to that company. But the real issue is quality and the networks refuse to accept that and address it. Designated Survivor is a good example. The first season was about 6 weeks too long, but it was a good idea, well executed. This season every episode has been the same. Take a recent story from the news, give the Dem side and Rep side and the staff proposes routine solutions. Then the President does something everyone questions and miraculously it works. BORING. Compare that to Mindhunter on Netflix. I can’t wait for next season. People will sit through ads for quality content, but the networks have stopped looking for it and are pocketing the cash for reality and sports. Forcing people to go to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc. to see real quality, creative ideas and entertainment.

  5. One part of the advertising problem is that commercials are repeated too often during a program. Seeing the same commercials over and over again within a short time span becomes annoying.

    • Especially when the same one is run more than once in a break.

  6. “Consumers hate advertising.” More to the point, consumers hate TOO MUCH advertising. Program time keeps shrinking, ad time keeps expanding and the people in charge just chuckle, saying that’s just too bad, get use to it.

  7. I agree with Jimmy Z, advertising is to long on broadcast and even longer on Cable TV channels.

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