Friday, 8 April 2011

Possible Hiccups With Auto, Retail and TV Upfront Ad Market | Mediaworks: Tuning In - Advertising Age

TV networks rubbing their hands together in anticipation of a spectacular upfront may want to stop for just a few moments.

It's true, the recent market for "scatter" advertising, or ad inventory sold just prior to air time, has been as healthy as an Olympic skier. Typically, that means the upfront (the time of year when most TV networks try to sell about three-quarters of their ad inventory for the coming fall season) should go great guns, as more advertisers seek to lock in prices, fearing that ad costs will continue to increase as the economy works its way out of recessionary doldrums.

Last year, the five English-language broadcast networks collected an estimated $8.1 billion to $8.7 billion in ad commitments, according to estimates from Advertising Age, eking out a small gain over 2009's estimated $7.8 billion to $8.1 billion. This year could prove even more dynamic.

Every silver lining, however, has a cloud. Recent events could threaten to tamp down upfront activity, suggested Barcalys Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente in a research note issued today. The analyst sees trouble brewing among several important advertising categories.

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