TVB Says Time Shifters Should Count

Organization wants media buyers to use live plus 3-day ratings data

TV station advertising advocate, the Television Bureau of Advertising, wants media buyers to use the live plus 3-day ratings as the standard for buying local TV ads in Nielsen's metered markets.

While TVB concedes that 92% of household viewing and 87% of viewing in the key 18-49 and 25-54 (news) demos are live, it wants stations to get credit for the balance of that viewing that is time-shifted.

But aren't viewers skipping most of the commercials when they get the chance? TVB says no, arguing that

Nielsen research shows that "a high percentage" of viewers to not fast-forward through them, and even when they are, they still make an impression on them.

TVB also points to a study it says appears in the November issue of Journal of Marketing finding that folks who fast forward pay more, not less, attention to the TV screen when they are doing so.

“We encourage stations to promote and use Live + 3 program ratings, and we encourage advertisers to take advantage of the valuable viewing that Live + 3 program ratings can deliver,” said TV President Chris Rohrs. "For the vast majority of advertisers, ads that air within three days of original airtime will still serve to build awareness of a campaign, motivate consumers to react to a time-sensitive sales event, or cause consumers to take another desired action."

It is the first time TVB has officially endorsed the live-plus-3-day metric as the pricing standard.

Networks and agencies came up with the live-plus-3-day as a compromise between the live number, which advertisers wanted, and the live plus-7-day, which the networks wanted because it included time-shifted viewing for a full week beyond the airdate.

Local stations would prefer live-plus-7, too, of course, but will take a half a loaf compared to the current live-plus-same-day number, which only takes into account a few hours of time-shifting opportunity.

But TVB said it also recognized that "for some clients, shorter time frames are critical," and so will take a look at the extra data streams Nielsen is adding to the live plus same day numbers likely sometime in late 2009.