Mainstream TV advertisers are in danger of being saddled with the
less desirable, older, downmarket TV viewers unless they learn how
broadcasters manage their advertising airtime inventory, a new study of
TV advertising warned this week.
According to the report from the Billett Consultancy, the more desirable
audiences such as AB men are sold to the highest-paying advertisers,
which means that blanket users of the TV advertising medium are often
left with those audiences that the niche advertisers don’t want.
The study also found that advertisers must learn to exploit the media
owners’ inventory management to gain a competitive advantage. Although
the notion of inventory management is not new, the report states that
media owners have now developed the system to such a high degree of
sophistication that they can dictate the schedule an advertiser can
John Billett, chairman of the Billett Consultancy, said: ’The inventory
management systems have become focused on delivering targeted schedules.
This means that the stable supporter of the medium, who is trying to
reach large numbers of broad target audiences, now gets saddled with an
older, downmarket targeted schedule.’
Using inventory management, broadcasters can keep a tight rein on which
advertisers can buy into specific programmes, whether an ad will appear
in a centre break rather than an end break and if an ad campaign appears
in a higher than average proportion of late peak airtime.
For example, an advertiser targeting 16- to 34-year-old men buying
airtime in late peak will get 76 per cent of its airtime in centre
breaks, compared to 60 per cent for an advertiser also buying late
peaktime but targeting adults.
Male targeted brands achieve higher first-in-break positions than female
targeted ones, while 16- to 34-year-old targeted brands have more
first-in-break slots than ABC1 housewife brands.