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TV Executives Promise Less Clutter On Television During The Upcoming Elections

Advertising agency executives advise clients to be more assertive


January 8, 2004
Copyright © 2004 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Last month, officials from Univision (CH 11), Telemundo Puerto Rico (CH 2), and Televicentro (CH 4) met with top executives of some of the island’s major advertising agencies to announce that they intend to avoid the customary advertising clutter during the coming elections.

For the past two years, the local TV stations have been reducing the number of minutes per hour dedicated to advertising to minimize clutter caused by commercials and to improve the quality of their programming.

Some of the station executives assured the advertising managers that there would be preferential treatment for long-standing clients and that their usual spots would be reserved without increasing the number of commercial minutes. "We are not changing the number of commercial minutes from 16," said Jonathan Garcia, sales manager of Televicentro. "We have 16 minutes per hour dedicated for ads; 14 for advertising spots and two for the advertising of the station’s programming. The only change will happen 60 days before the election, when we will use one minute from our own advertisement spots for the political campaigns."

However, advertising executives are reluctant to speculate how the TV executives propose to deal with the increasing demand for spots during these elections. Projections indicate that all candidates will expend huge amounts of money on producing and broadcasting television advertising that will translate into considerable revenues for television industry.

"[The three major TV stations] committed to not increase the amount of commercial time and assured their long-standing customers that they will still have access to TV spots as usual," said Carlos Carbonell, general manager of Young & Rubicam Puerto Rico Inc.

"There will always be clutter during the election. What matters is how we deal with it," said Ramiro Millan, president of BBDO Puerto Rico. "In our case, we are advising our clients to be more assertive in their decisions, to make plans for the long run and reserve space in advance."

Although television rate cards may not reflect any increment, most of the media contracts are negotiated based on the existing demand and quantity of ads purchased, which may mean harder negotiations and greater investment in the purchase of TV spots, even for those long-standing customers. "We all have to be concerned in maintaining a clutter-free environment and of course this will have a price," said John Raevis, president of De La Cruz Group. "But we also have to be aware that in Puerto Rico, the cost per thousand is one of the lowest in the nation."

As a result, we may witness political advertisers searching for new alternatives to convey their message to voters. "The political campaigns will begin to use strategic media," said Hector Ortiz president of Wing Latino Group. "We may even see, for the first time, the use of multimedia such as internet e-marketing in this election season, as well as the use of other alternative media that may capture the attention of voters."

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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