Promoting Spot Cable8/22/2004 08:00:00 PM Eastern
Is local/spot cable pricing itself out of the presidential campaigns?
Despite red-hot spending by John Kerry and George Bush in swing states, spot
cable is available everywhere. "We're having no problem placing cable spot,"
says Richard Cotter, senior partner and USA director of local broadcast at
Mindshare. "I don't think the candidates are even buying any time. They're
[buying] network cable, but they're not buying local cable."
One reason? High rates. According to Pat McNew, executive vice president
and local media director at PHD, "Local broadcast CPMs are just cheaper then
cable, even with lower unit rates."
McNew does see tightness in New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh,
Cleveland and Chicago.
Key rep firm, National Cable Communications, is responding with
full-page ads in Roll Call,
The Hill and Campaign & Elections magazines through early
September (as well as convention dailies).
"With these ads, we hope to demonstrate that the undecided voter watches
more cable than broadcast," says Chuck Cowdrey, vice president of politics at
NCC. "And no medium can target undecideds better than spot cable." The ads bear
the tagline: "Put your money where your market is. Spot cable."
Noting cable network upfront buys are up 17%, Cabletelevision Ad Bureau
President and CEO Sean Cunningham says, "Agency planners and buyers are using
cable first as both short-term and long-term reach generators for targets
across the board."
Indeed, new hit shows on FX (Rescue
Me), Discovery (American Chopper)
and USA (The 4400) are generating ad
interest. FX reports 50 different advertisers for Rescue Me and is 70% sold out for the fourth
Discovery notes Chopper has "opened
us up to a younger, male advertiser." Cotter says, "advertiser-friendly
4400has increased activity from soft-drinks
and fast-food, while the movie categories are just hunting this show down."