U.S. Ad Economy Rises 5.9% In August

The U.S. advertising marketplace grew 5.9% in August — its first monthly year-over-year expansion since March, when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on many forms of ad spending. The finding, based on a MediaPost analysis of Standard Media Index’s U.S. Ad Market Tracker, represents actual media-buying processed by the major ad agencies and brands, and may not be as representative of the long-tail marketplace of smaller advertisers and agencies.

Ad Demand Continues To Improve

Monthly U.S. ad spending pacing has improved consistently since the ad recession began earlier this year following the U.S. pandemic lockdown, but there was a slightly negative blip in August, according to a tracking study of ad executives’ “run rates,” compiled by Wall Street equity research firm Pivotal Research Group.

NBCU Unveils ‘Total Investment Impact’ Measure

Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit said it is introducing a new measurement system that tells marketers how effective their ad spending has been across campaigns, screens and platforms. Honda is engaged in a beta test of NBCU’s Total Investment Impact, which evaluates total media investment across NBCU properties and takes into account relevant internal and external factors that can impact the performance of media.

AT&T Mulls Ad-Supported Phone Plans

AT&T is considering offering wireless phone plans partially subsidized by advertising as soon as a year from now, CEO John Stankey said in an interview on Tuesday. “I believe there’s a segment of our customer base where given a choice, they would take some load of advertising for a $5 or $10 reduction in their mobile bill,” Stankey said.

Comcast To SCOTUS: Overturn Viamedia Ruling

Comcast Corp. says the U.S. Supreme Court should step in and shut down a monopolization lawsuit over the TV ad placement market, arguing a federal appeals court improperly gave a green light to claims it illegally refused to do business with rival Viamedia Inc.

GroupM: Global Ad Demand Improving

More encouraging news that ad demand is rebounding from its recent recession is coming out of GroupM’s Business Intelligence team. “Global advertising is improving,” GroupM Business Intelligence Global President Brian Wieser writes in an update, adding that ad spending is “even going positive in some markets.”

ABC, CBS Primetime Scatter Prices Plummet

CBS and ABC suffered lower primetime scatter pricing in the spring and summer 2020 periods due to the cancellation or postponement of major sports events as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both networks see typically higher pricing levels during those periods.

Bakish: Upfront Ad Market ‘Very Far Along’

Bob Bakish, president and CEO of ViacomCBS, says the upfront advertising market is going well, although he offered few details. “On the upfront, things are very, very far along,” said Bakish, speaking at a Bank of America virtual media conference on Wednesday. “We always thought it would take longer and it did.”

Cohen Named CEO Of Interactive Ad Bureau

David Cohen has been named CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which represents digital media, effective Sept. 15. Cohen joined the IAB as president in March. He had been a top media buyer, most recently as president of Magna.

CBS Calls NFL Ad Sales ‘Brisk’ As Kick Off Nears

On a conference call with reporters Tuesday, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said that NFL ad sales at this point are “pacing at the exact level we paced at last year, and last year was an incredibly successful year for us.”

VideoAmp Hires Omnicom’s Steuer

Video/TV advertising measurement company VideoAmp has hired Omnicom Media Group’s Jonathan Steuer as EVP of TV strategy and currency. In this new position, Steuer’s responsibilities will include developing new cross-media platform measurement — a “currency-grade transaction-ready TV dataset” for media buyers and sellers, delivery providers and other vendors. This would include all areas that involve linear TV, OTT, digital and walled gardens.

Advertisers Seek Right To Cancel TV Spending As Coronavirus Roils Fall TV

Ad buyers are pressing TV networks for unprecedented flexibility to back out of spending commitments given a lack of new entertainment and potential pitfalls for the NFL season.

With Some Primetime Show Start Dates, Will Advertisers Move To Buy?

TV networks are slowly announcing starting dates of big primetime shows — scripted and unscripted — which could help push TV advertisers to make upfront deals. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to major TV production disruptions — which, in turn, has paused some TV advertising deal-making.

TV Industry Won’t Recover From COVID-19

Advertising and cable subscriptions have been the twin engines driving the growth of media companies for decades. Now both are faltering, and there can be only one conclusion: the traditional TV business will never recover.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH FRANK COMERFORD

TVN Executuve Session | NBCU Grows Pay-Per-Performance Deals

Frank Comerford, NBCU Owned Television Stations’ CRO and president of commercial operations, says its Post-In Flight deals are starting to take off and could eliminate much of the post-buy work for both the station group and ad agencies. He says Spot ON, NBCU’s OTT/CTV product, is also bolstering business development and making it easier to communicate with advertisers.

U.S. Advertising Falls 14% In July, Best Since March

The erosion of U.S. ad spending continues to moderate, falling at its lowest rate of decline in July since the economic effects of the pandemic began manifesting earlier this year. U.S. ad volume declined 13.9% vs. July 2019, according to the just-updated U.S. Ad Market Tracker. That compares with a 17% decline in June, a 31% decrease in May, a 35% drop in April and an 11% slide in March, the first month of 2020 to go into an ad recession.

CBS Seeking Over $5M For Super Bowl Ads

ViacomCBS Inc.’s CBS is seeking around $5.5 million for 30-second commercial spots in next year’s Super Bowl, roughly in line with commercial prices in the 2020 game, according to people close to the talks. CBS is also requiring advertisers in the Super Bowl telecast to appear in the game’s online stream, at an additional cost of roughly $200,000, a person familiar with the matter said.

Tru Optik Launches Self-Service Data Marketplace For Connected TV, Streaming Audio, Gaming Advertising

Tru Optik, an identity resolution provider across OTT and connected TV (CTV), today launched a new self-service platform for streaming media and connected device audience planning. The Data Marketplace will be made available directly to brands and agencies for the first time, as well as expand the features and capabilities it already provides to the […]

Ad Industry Opposes FTC’s Proposed Security Regulations For Financial Institutions

The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed changes to security regulations for financial institutions could also affect a broad swath of non-financial companies — including ad agencies, social networks, lead generators and ad-tech companies — according to the Association of National Advertisers.

BIA Lowers U.S. Local Ad Revenue Estimate

It drops the number for 2020 by 2.7% to $140 billion due to continuing coronavirus impacts. Political and other key verticals offer some opportunities for 4Q revenue generation.

College Football Postponement Upends Billions In Ad Revenue

The NFL and NBA are most likely to benefit from the Big Ten, Pac-12 delays.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JACK ABERNETHY

TVN Executive Session | Fox’s Jack Abernethy: TV Leadership Has ‘Never Been Tested’ Like Now

Political is bolstering a comeback for TV advertising, but as COVID-19’s uncertainties continue to loom, Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy says managing in a climate of fear continues to be challenging.

Automaker TV Spending Increases 18% In July

Automakers spent $223.5 million on national linear TV advertising in July, up nearly 18% compared to June, according to iSpot. However, spending continues to be lower compared to a year ago due to the pandemic and its effects on the economy. Spending in July was down 28% vs. a year ago and impressions (28.7 billion) were down 10%.

National TV Ad Market Trims Losses In June

National TV advertising in June declined 9% to $3.2 billion — a much smaller decline than the two previous months, according to Standard Media Index. In April, in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic downturn, there was a massive loss of 28%, followed by a 19% decline in May. Overall, the second quarter witnessed a 19% decline in the March to June period.

EARNINGS CALL

Political Ads Booming For Fox O&Os

Political is pacing more than 50% ahead of the equivalent period four years ago CEO Lachlan Murdoch tells analysts. Apart from political, COO John Nallen said it is “remarkable to see how quickly local advertising is coming back.”

National TV Advertising Fell 9% In June, Down 19% Since Pandemic

More people continue to watch TV or other forms of video in the midst of the pandemic, but Madison Avenue is spending fewer dollars to dazzle them. National TV advertising fell 9% in June to $3.2 billion, according to Standard Media Index, a continuation of negative trends that have been in place since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March. But the June figures show losses narrowing: the 9% figures come after a 19% dip in May and a 28% tumble in April.

NHL Preps Return With Little Caesars, Pepsi

Little Caesars has signed a deal to be the official pizza delivery company of the National Hockey League as longtime sponsor Pepsi launches a sweepstakes. The partnership between the league and the pizza restaurant begins immediately and runs through the 2020-21 season. Fans will see the Little Caesars brand displayed in a corner in-ice ad position during every game of the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers and 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as well all exhibition games.

P&G Strikes Upfront Deals With Nets

Procter & Gamble, the company behind Pampers diapers, Crest toothpaste and Old Spice men’s grooming products, has begun striking deals with certain TV networks as part of the upfront, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Pandemic Brings Change To ‘Bloated’ Ad Industry

The marketing business is going through a period of innovation as it sheds workers and tries to hold on to clients. Above:

Baseball’s Return Helps Fox Reel In A ‘Tsunami’ Of Advertising Dollars

Pent-up demand for sports is translating into major advertising bucks, according to Fox, which is kicking off baseball season with its first-ever-triple header on Saturday. The advertising inventory for the nine-hour block of games is sold out, according to Fox’s head of sports sales, Seth Winter.

Baseball Advertisers Get Ready For Big New Swing

Baseball advertising appears to have pivoted from a months-long slump to hitting above average. Fox Corp. has sold more than 90% of its ad inventory in its share of games in Major League Baseball’s pandemic-truncated 2020 season, as well as all the ad berths in its planned broadcast of four games slated to air this Saturday on Fox Broadcasting and Fox Sports 1. Meanwhile,  Home Team Sports, the Fox-owned unit that sells ad time on 44 regional sports networks, is trying to accommodate a new rush of advertisers trying to get time in local broadcasts.

NBCU Adds 11 New Ad Formats For Marketers

NBCUniversal is creating 11 new advertising formats for TV marketers to consider for their advertising efforts. Under its Content and Commercial Innovations effort, these formats are intended to offer better reach and engagement for marketers.

ANA Converts ‘Masters Of Marketing,’ Media Confabs To Virtual Events

With Peacock’s National Rollout, NBCU Creates ‘The Future Of Advertising’

WaPo’s Zeus To Power Ad Tech For Graham Media

Zeus Technology, The Washington Post’s revenue performance platform, will license Zeus Performance to Graham Media Group. With television stations in Houston; Detroit; Roanoke, Va.; San Antonio, Texas; Orlando; and Jacksonville, Fla., Graham becomes the platform’s first broadcast customer. Zeus now has grown to nearly 60 sites in the U.S. “Local publishers using Zeus continue to see significant increases […]

Target, MTV Blocked Ads From News Mentioning ‘George Floyd’ And ‘Protests’

Terms related to protests were on “blocklists” companies use to avoid ad placements in sensitive content. News publishers say such moves effectively punish media companies for covering important issues.

Alphonso And Tegna Expand Local TV Measurement Partnership

TV data and measurement company Alphonso has renewed and expanded its agreement with Tegna to enable local advertisers to better understand the value and effectiveness of their local TV and OTT ad campaigns. The companies have renewed their multi-year partnership to include all of Premion, Tegna’s OTT and CTV advertising platforms. The new agreement enables […]

Investors Ask Nike, FedEx, PepsiCo to End Relationships With Washington Redskins

TVN FOCUS ON BUSINESS

Focus On Advertising | Local Spot Revenue Shows Signs Of Life

A TVNewsCheck webinar on optimizing spot TV in this COVID-challenged economy last week found spot revenue picking up in some places, with steady rises since April’s low point. But concerns are afoot about Nielsen’s sample base and problems that may stem from its addition of broadband-only homes to the local TV currency.

US Media Ad Rev Falls 31% In May

U.S. advertising revenue fell 31% in May as the nation had only a handful of major sports events take place due to the coronavirus pandemic and most major ad categories cut back the amount of money they spent significantly — by 10% or more — according to Standard Media Index, a tracker of ad spending. Among specific types of advertisers, only pharmaceutical manufacturers spent more in May than they did in the year-earlier period.