Unfilled Promises, Upset Buyers In TV Land
You might remember ahead of last year’s Upfronts some of the major networks including Fox and NBC committed to reducing their prime time ad loads in an attempt to lower clutter and help the remaining commercials perform better. The network TV buyers embraced this plan, which drove a healthy year of TV sales. Well it turns out those spot load reductions didn’t happen, and now the agencies are howling about it.
During an industry panel discussion last week investment heads from Aegis Dentsu and Publicis used the words “lied to” and “committed fraud” to describe the inventory reduction promises made which weren’t kept. In fact, some spot loads actually increased. “We heard promises last year that we were going to see a reduction in commercialization and the fact of the matter, with that particular network, who is now my client — I would prefer not to mention who it is — their commercialization actually went up by 2%,” echoed John Muszynski, Publicis’s Chief Investment Officer.
Of course this sets up what could be a feisty round of Upfront meetings beginning next week. When you don’t do what you say you’re going to do, it makes future promises that much harder to make with any credibility.