Friday, November 17, 2006

NBC Breaks into the Ad Business

The network blurs the lines between broadcaster, ad agency, and marketer

by Jon Fine
Business Week
November 2006

NBC Universal: ad agency. Or it will be, sort of. Its new digital czar, Beth Comstock, and her staffers are approaching key advertisers with a simple yet far-reaching proposition: Let our digital studios create some advertising for you. In other words, although NBC executives chafe at this characterization, join with us to demolish long-standing notions of what separates media companies from ad agencies.

"The next natural place to use the talents of the studio is with marketers and advertisers," says George Kliavkoff, NBC Universal's (GE ) chief digital officer. As Comstock conceded at a recent international TV conference, everyone must "get used to the idea that the media marketplace will be full of contradictions and tensions."

One big tension: A direct relationship between networks and marketers could threaten ad agencies' middleman role. Comstock is quick to point out that NBC's marketing efforts will primarily be "adjuncts" to existing campaigns and that "most of the discussions" with marketers involve ad agencies. Still, says one executive familiar with the discussions, in a world of product placement and digital short films built around products, what's message and what's content "starts to become all the same.... That's one of the things Beth Comstock is sitting there recognizing."


For Jon Fine's blog on media and advertising, CLICK HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment