The Future of TV Advertising

Tracks trends in traditional television ad sales and the impact of new technologies, new competition.

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Location: Annapolis, Maryland, United States

Proven senior level executive with over 25 years of leading turnarounds and startups of software companies in media, finance, energy and business intelligence. See more at Linked In.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

eBay Ad Sales Project Hits Major Snag

I have been very busy this year on a number of projects and have not been posting at the rate I should have, but I'm back! And boy is there some interesting news!

I think one of the most interesting stories was the recent announcement that cable TV is "boycotting" the eBay initiative to sell TV ads "the eBay way" --- an auction.

The project was rumoured to be a $50 million initiative, started last year, and was backed by a number of large advertisers, like HP, Intel and Home Depot.

But the business has had its legs cut off by ESPN, Turner, Discovery and Lifetime who have "boycotted" the exchange.

This is pure hubris! I just love the quotes in the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau's press release and the NY Times story. "Too narrow", "connectivity issues", "lacked provisions necessary for critical strategic and idea-driven intelligence", "went too far in removing humans from the ad sales process". Even some of the big buyers weighed in, saying that eBay did not allow the integration of promotions into the buying process.

As I have said many times in the past, the sellers of TV spots and the professional buyers do not want the transparency that exists with on-line advertising and will resist efforts to simplify, clarify and commoditize transactions.

Simply put, this move is just one battle in the continuing war that advertisers and TV ad sales are engaged in. Doesn't it sound like the sellers want less transparency, want the "idea-driven, creative process with promotions" to dominate, while advertisers want to know: "What do I get for what price?"

Battle on!

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