Media Buyers Restructure Local Approach

Agencies consolidate to target TV stations’ largest ad contributor
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NEW YORK: The big media agencies are restructuring their local-buying process, according to Ad Week. Some of the industry’s largest ad agencies are looking into new and streamlined ways of buying local media across TV, radio, print and the Internet.

“Few clients come to us and say, ‘I’m looking for a local TV plan,” ad executive John Muszynski told Ad Week’s Steve McClellan. “They want a local plan.”

The agencies spend around billions of dollars a year on local media, much of it through TV stations. Local comprises the largest category of ad revenue for TV stations, though the recession is having an impact. Local fell 27 percent across TV stations during the first half of 2009.

McClellan said one agency, Mediabrands, was considering folding its barter operation with its regular local-buying unit, which potentially could drive down prices. Another agency has initiated communications between local broadcast and print buyers, and yet another has centralized negotiations for multiple media forms.

The consolidation trend is double-edged. Buyers are bringing operations into fewer, larger offices that handle multiple types of media. The end result portends more competition among local media outlets.

McClellen’s piece, “Shops Restructure Ways to Go Local,” is available at Ad Week.

More on the TV ad market:
September 17, 2009: “Ad Spending Figures for 1H09 Issued”
Total measured advertising expenditures in the first six months of 2009 fell 14.3 percent versus a year ago, to $60.87 billion.

September 11, 2009
: “TV Ad Bureau Predicts Spot Revenue Rise in 2010
The Television Bureau of Advertising predicted spot revenues for local TV stations would rise next year by 1 to 3 percent.

September 1, 2009: “U.S. Ad Spending Drops 15 Percent During First Half of ’09”
Preliminary figures show that U.S. ad expenditures declined by more than $10.3 billion to a total spend of $56.9 billion in the first two quarters.

August 31, 2009: “Local Broadcast Revenues Dive 26 Percent in 2Q”
Total broadcast television ad revenues were down 12.8 percent in the second quarter of 2009 versus the same period last year.