The cable upfront may be slow-moving, but Discovery Communications last week secured a generous chunk of advertising change. It inked a $50 million cross-platform advertising deal with Procter & Gamble, the consumer-products giant, which will advertise on Discovery's eight cable properties, in Discovery stores, on close-cousin BBC America and on Discovery's new high-definition channel.
One key component is product tie-ins on Discovery Networks' programs. P&G's Swiffer sweeper, for example, will be featured on The Learning Channel's cult-hit redecorating show, Trading Spaces
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The big deal "epitomizes the benefits that the breadth and depth of our assets bring to large-scale clients," said Discovery Executive VP of Ad Sales Bill McGowan.
The Discovery deal, being only for cable and not broadcast, commanded less money than P&G's $300 million cross-platform deal last year with Viacom Plus, which includes CBS and billboards. The two companies have renewed their partnership for a second year, keeping P&G's wares on Viacom's TV outlets, including CBS, UPN, and cable nets MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
Ad agency MediaVest brokered both the Viacom and Discovery deals on behalf of P&G.
The biggest cross-platform deal this upfront season, though, is Omnicom Group's $1 billion Walt Disney Co. spending spree. The ad agency plans to buy time across Disney properties, including ABC, ESPN and other cable nets, for clients like Pepsi and Apple Computer.