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Media Buying

To YouTube: Learn From Bernie Madoff & Don’t Turn Down Ad Deals


YouTube has long been fighting for ad dollars. Recently, things are looking just a tad rosier. They’ve got the new Universal Music deal. The site also says it currently sells ads against about 9% of its video views in the U.S up from just 6% a year ago. Nice, but whatever. Credit Suisse is guessing that the site’s total losses will hit $470 million. YouTube is still not doing its part for Google’s revenue structure despite its massive popularity.

So, how is it that the video site can turn down ad deals? That’s right. YouTube has been turning down deals from media buyers that use CPA – cost per action. When publishers sell media on a CPM basis, it’s a finite game. They know precisely how many page views are required to fulfill their end of the deal. With CPA, they don’t have a clue how long it could take to hit their goal. If your site is fighting off advertisers with a stick, then perhaps, CPA might not be the best thing for you. However, YouTube is not beating off anyone. The site has some trouble when it comes to selling ads for many reasons. One being that 70% of traffic comes from outside the U.S.

However, media firms are being told that YouTube “wants” to take such deals, but “can’t.” Now, why would that be? Is it that they are just determined to only make content deals like the one recently inked with Disney? Consider that YouTube recently lost such a possible deal with the Discovery Channel to Microsoft. They can’t and won’t win them all – and there’s only so many deals like that to go around.

If Bernie Madoff taught us anything, it’s that diversification is key. It’s hard to believe that Google, a company that is considered to be a champion of invention, evolution and revenue, is also a company that is stuck in the mud.

More: FTC May Soon Hold Brands Responsible for False Product Claims Made in Social Media Realm

TV Time: Who Is In And Who Is Out

It’s that time of year when show’s get canceled and renewed, banished to DirectTV or given a reprieve. So, who got the boot and who is still in the game?

Chopping Block which one part Hell’s Kitchen, one part Top Chef and one part just plain sad, has been canceled after only three episodes. Marco Pierre White is a fantastic chef, but he doesn’t have the melodramatic viscousness of Gordon Ramsey nor the hots of Padma Lakshmi.

The regurgitative network, DirectTV, has picked up three short-lived series – Smith, The Nine and Eyes – all of which were cancelled before all the episodes had aired. Hey, it got Friday Night Lights back on its feet.

Speaking of… Everyone can let out a deep sigh of relief. Friday Night Lights has bested the odds to be renewed for two more seasons.

Life On Mars wasn’t so lucky. The sci-fi crime show has been kicked to the curb by ABC. However, they will let the show finish off it’s episodes.

Poor ABC. Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, Pushing Daises and now, Life On Mars have all been canceled just this season. They are racking up quite a few slots to fill next year. Ohhh… Lucy? You got a lotta work to do.

More: What’s the Big Deal with SyFy?

U.S. Ad Spending Fell 2.6% in 2008


Nielsen has reported today that U.S. advertising for the full year 2008 was down 2.6% compared to the full year 2007. You are so not shocked. “Given the state of the U.S. economy, a decline in ad spending was expected, but it’s not as bad as it could have been,” Annie Touliatos, vice president of sales development for Nielsen’s ad tracking service, said in a statement.

Hispanic Cable TV (+9.6%) and Cable TV (+7.8%) were the only two media to show ad growth in 2008. Cable was the highest revenue-generating medium with $26.6 billion in sales.

Media Category                                      Jan-Dec '08 vs.
Jan-Dec '07 % Change

Hispanic Cable TV                                           9.6%
Cable TV                                                    7.8%
Spot TV Top 100                                            -0.3%
Syndication TV                                             -0.8%
National Sunday Supplement                                 -1.9%
Hispanic Broadcast TV                                      -2.4%
Network Radio                                              -3.3%
Broadcast Network TV                                       -3.5%
Local Magazine                                             -3.7%
Spot Radio                                                 -4.0%
Spot TV 101-210                                            -4.6%
Outdoor                                                    -5.0%
FSI Coupon                                                 -5.2%
Internet*                                                  -6.4%
National Magazine                                          -7.6%
National Newspaper                                         -9.6%
Business to Business                                       -9.7%
Local Newspaper                                           -10.2%
Local Sunday Supplements                                  -11.0%
TOTAL                                                      -2.6%

More: WPP Is Worried About A Few Things

LVMH Goes Up For Review

What are the lyrics to that Jeffree Star song? Oh yeah! “Hey girl, I love the bag. It’s all about the bag. Oh, and matching shoes… I got those too! LV monogram makes me wanna jam. I wanna do it to you, in my brand new Louis.”

Well, someone wants to do it to Louis anyway. The parent company for the luxury bags, LVMH, has put their estimated $185M U.S. media account up for review. According to Adweek, WPP Group’s MediaCom’s is going to defend. Who else is in the pitch? Still unclear. If you know, the comments section awaits.

More: Blind Item! Which Agency CCO…

Breaking: Fake Media Buying Messes With Agencies Like Posner, FBI Involved


Since mid-December, Posner Advertising and a host of other agencies have been under attack! Somebody pretending to be an agency rep has undertaken an ambitious scam involving media buys. Posner has posted a paragraph on their website – assuring clients that the FBI is on the case:

“Attention media companies: Please be advised that an offshore entity has been impersonating Posner Advertising and is pretending to be purchasing media for clients unknown to us. This entity has reserved a strikingly similar, but illegitimate, URL to ours: and is attempting to place web-based media and asking for payment terms. A fictitious representative of this company, Alvin Ortiz, is calling media owners, purporting to be one of our media buyers.”

The thing is – that secondary URL ( looks like it is owned by Posner itself. However, this Ortiz fellow falsified details to make it look that way in WhoIs directories to assure ad networks that he was legitimate. He also went so far as to have the URL redirect to the Posner main page. Crazy right? He then went on to place false media buys for real banner ads for companies like Skype. The whole house of cards came tumbling down when one ad network, who has direct buying rights for Skype, was contacted by Ortiz.

According to a spokesman, Posner has been contacted by four online networks with suspect media buys ranging from 15-20K per outlet. Exposing the company to 80K worth of fraudulent claims. Ortiz and whomever he is working appear to be located outside of the U.S., though that cannot be confirmed.

This isn’t the first time that someone has tried such a stunt. Innovative Marketing also got snagged by the FTC for allegedly creating fake agencies to place crooked buys. The FBI and the FTC are both involved and are sorting out just who this Alvin Ortiz is.

You’ve been warned.

More: Nielsen Pays $1M To Lose Their Data

Nielsen Pays $1M To Lose Their Data

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Nielsen, those con artists, have had a “significant system disruption” according to a letter sent to clients from Executive Vice President-Global Business Services Mitchell Habib. This disruption caused several days of delays for everyone using their TV ratings system, since Nielsen could not access its own data. Apparently, Nielsen was relocating its mainframe and whoops! Data was lost. And catch this – Nielsen paid a $1M “over the standard fee to have them focus additional resources on this project to ensure a high quality and timely transition.” Massive FAIL.

Clients will not receive what in some cases was supposed to be overnight data until Jan. 12th. One client told Mediapost, who first reported the story that: “It’s fine for Nielsen to invoke the term of ‘continuous improvement’ in these matters, but to its clients, it looks more like continuous chaos,” he said.

Dude, just give up on Nielsen. That data your waiting for is worthless anyway.

More: TNS Vs. Nielsen: We Ask The Questions To George Shababb

The Carcass Of Online Ad Buys

Agencies are notoriously late to the carcass of online media buying. Mediabrands only now offers targeted buys with analytics across a broad spectrum of websites. Meanwhile, WPP, Havas and everyone else is diligently grinding out their own software and analytical systems. This is a natural extension of their business considering that agencies have long been buying print and broadcast time for their clients.

But, seriously, where were they five years ago? Oh right. They were waiting for smaller companies to due to their work for them. All the while, they were losing dollars, market share and projecting an image of naivety above the internet to clients. Rob Norman, chief executive of WPP’s digital-media unit, Group M Interaction Worldwide told the WSJ that tech firms “got there first and dealt with the science before we did.”

Yeah. Yup. You snooze you lose. Now, all these big guys are going to be fighting for market share not only among themselves, but with established players in the game like Big Mama Google. Agencies need to think forward from here on out if they want to survive. Let’s not be afraid of technology. Let’s use it to our own ends and actually create the carcass to be picked over, rather than waiting to be the vultures hovering, hungrily at the end.

More: New Agency Alert: Seisser And Landsberg’s Grok

Fallon Pisses On The Little Guy With A Bad Media Buy

The new spot for The Ladders from Fallon US is a bit of a planning and buying train wreck. Sorry, but this ad is definitely making us believe the hype – 2009 is going to suck balls.

The ad above played during The Fiesta Bowl last night, which makes you wonder about the media buy that went down. The Bowl clocked 12M viewers. However, in 2006, the US Census reported that only 5.6 percent of individual income earners made $100+ year. And in this climate with Madoff and mortgages going belly up that number has definitely dropped. Sure, college football rakes in recent college grads as well as die hard, more affluent alums, but one has to wonder how many watchers are bagging the really big dough?

This begs the question – do you really need to shit all over those folks at the middle of the ladder or even, the bottom? Previously, the job site ran an ad that featured a tennis player. It achieved the same message without crapping on the little guy. In tonight’s spot, we see little godzillas who can’t get the attention of a sales clerk. What happened?

How many people were turned off by the message? You could argue it doesn’t matter if 10% (1.2M) now feel badly about the site. They weren’t going to use it anyway, right? But the trick with luxury is to create a feeling of aspiration. Not aversion to your brand.

Hope all that dough you guys coughed up for media time was worth it. Seems like there would be better avenues to tap the folks you want than a straight up media blitz. Silicon Alley Insider estimates the site will generate $60 million in revenue in 2008, up from about $35 million in 2007. The Ladders didn’t start using broadcast campaigns until just this year. They were doing just fine. Hope this turns out to be worth it. According to Alexa, there was no spike in traffic for The Ladders tonight, so perhaps not. Of course, we’ll check back in on these stats in a few hours.

Oh yeah. This commercial also just badly, badly executed. To quote David Ibsen: The ads are lacking “a clear or effective strategy, are not entertaining, nor are they memorable, or seem to tie to the brand promise.”

Total. Fail.

Gotta say though – as far as the monster themed commercials go, I’m generally a fan. I adored Garmin’s take. Check it out below.

TNS Vs. Nielsen: We Ask The Questions To George Shababb


TNS, the market insight and information company, is currently in a war of the ratings with Nielsen. If you ask us, it’s not a moment too soon. The recently acquired WPP company is taking the monopolistic Nielsen head on with their service DirectView, which uses ses satellite company DirecTV’s set-top boxes to collect data on live and time-shifted audience ratings on a “second-by-second” basis. We got a chance to ask George Shababb, COO, of TNS Media Research, a few questions about their service.

1. CurrentTV and Discovery Communications recently signed up to useTNS’s Directview over Nielsen’s DigitalPlus. What is it that your company is offering that differs from Nielsen’s ratings system?

Read more

Nielsen Ratings Are Such A Long Standing Joke


Nielsen. Don’t you find it weird that the company is the deal maker and breaker for most television entertainment? Receive some bad ratings according Nielsen and you can forget about it. You’re canceled. Erm… Nielsen still couts on a select pool of TV watchers to report their habits to the service, but yeah… According to Nielsen, they have 5,000 households in the national People Meter sample, approximately 20,000 households in the local metered market samples, approximately 1,000 metered homes for our national and local Hispanic measurement.”

Twenty-six thousand households total decide the whole shebang for the 305 million households in the United States. That’s like less that a percent across the demos. Worthless! Worthless! Do you really really believe that they are tapping minorities, single women and college kids effectively? Give me a break. And you wonder why Arrested Development got canceled despite everyone and their mother loving it.

Nielsen. I’m just going to say what everyone is thinking – total poop, but the company is so entrenched in broadcast that really… who the hell can take them on? Well, other than Brooke Shields who has fought mightily for her show Lipstick Jungle. After looking into the data, NBC found that once TIVO was included the show’s numbers were on the increase and not so bad. Yo! Brooke! Don’t rely on Nielsen to save your show. Follow the lead of your comrade in arms, Theresa Pepe.

Pepe is Current TV’s Vice President of Research. She might also be the hero that content providers have been looking for. Pepe recently made a “plea to a group of top industry executives to help solve a vexing bias in the way TV households are sampled that handicaps smaller and emerging channels.” From Mediapost:

“-Analysis by Foster showing that smaller cable networks must reach disproportionately more of Nielsen’s panel households to generate comparable ratings. Foster implied this was due to a methodological glitch, and the fact that Nielsen’s total national sample of about 14,000 households is not nearly large enough to accurately represent smaller TV outlets as the medium continues to fragment.”

Pepe and CurrentTV are now using TNS, which is developing a new TV ratings system derived from actual digital set-top data directly from cable and satellite TV operators.

Nielsen. Crooks.

More Is Holy Than Thou Nielsen Missing The Online Numbers?