TV Ad Industry Leaders Gather to Discuss Industry's Future

NBCU’s Yaccarino pledges smarter TV and less clutter

More than 100 of the top executives in the TV advertising, media buying and marketing industries gathered in New York Tuesday morning (Nov. 28) to tackle issues around audience measurement and advertising effectiveness.

The meeting was arranged by Linda Yacccarino, chair of advertising sales and client partnerships at NBCUniversal.

The TV business has been facing issues involving viewers shifting to non-commercial programming on streaming and on-demand services like Netflix. It has also been struggling to measure viewership as more people watch on their own time and different digital devices. And they are challenge by digital competitors that promise data that does a better job of showing who they reach and how much reaction and sales they generate.

“We have a problem,” said Yaccarino, addressing the group. “We hear it every day. We hear it over drinks with our agency friends and clients. And we hear it from consumers. We hear it from their behavior. Things have got to change.”

She added that things have to change now. “Everyone in this room can decide together what that change looks like,” she said. “We all know the stakes have never been higher.”

Yaccarino said it was important that the industry works together to “build the metrics that our industry needs so we have a fair, equal and transparent market that holds all platforms to the same collective standard.”

She challenge to people in the group to contribute suggestions about what their companies could do to fix the industry’s problems.

She told the audience what NBCU would do.

“We’re committed to making television smarter. “That means improving the consumer experience making marketing more effective. We are weaning ourselves off a single currency metric and moving more to real business objectives,” she said.

“We might even lower commercial loads across the board,” Yaccarino added.