It was a dark and stormy night. The wind whistled through the windows just like an old movie. Inside the attorney was glued to the set. The lights would flicker but the generator outside stood firm. On the screen the ball game was heating up. The closer the score, the closer he pulled his chair to the Television. He was waiting for his commercial and it couldn’t have been a bigger audience. This was going to be a big one. He called to his wife in the other room, “come quick”. The commercial break was about to begin.
And so the commercials began. First the Mayor’s race, then a presidential candidate followed by a Superpac attack ad. Then the mayor again, a promo for the next show, a news bumper, the other presidential candidate, the mayor’s opponent and back to the game.
“Whoa! Where’s MY spot?” he yelled as he stood up and headed for the phone. Trying to call his TV rep he gets - you guessed it – Voice Mail. Throughout the game, no spot. It’s as if he never made it, nor placed it, nor confirmed nor even paid in advance…. He had been hit by a TV disease called “POLITICAL”.
The spot disappeared for many reasons. First there is the myth that Political spots can supercede regular advertisers. True, there is a law that allows certain political candidates to supercede and buy anything they want at the lowest existing rate. It ONLY applies to Federal Candidates. Local Stations either don’t know this or they use this myth for economic reasons below.
There are also several economic reasons to push you off during the election cycle. The first is CASH-IN-ADVANCE. It helps cash flow. Every politician knows he has to pay up front so its easy and instant cash. This is a big boost to the cash flow of the broadcaster who usually has to wait 60 or more days for payment.
Its way more profitable. The stations raise their rates in advance of the Political Season. They establish these higher than normal costs at least ninety days in advance of the season so that when the Federals push themselves on they are paying higher.
Your normal TV rep pays the price in a big way as well. Over ten years ago “Political” became house accounts. Many reps no longer get commissions on political. Now they lose two ways. First they have to service the political, pick up the check (often at the last minute), check the ad and keep in contact, all for NO Commission. Second the political pushes their regular accounts off the air (more lost commissions) and they suck up remaining inventory that the rep could sell. Not only do their client’s spots disappear, but so does the rep’s income.
Not every TV and Radio station does this, but is it more the norm than the exception. So you ask, “How does Houdini (Alias Group Matrix) get my spots to reappear?”
There are several strategies we have developed over the years to prevent the great spot disappearance syndrome. We employ a variety of negotiating techniques at the beginning of the year, and months before Political Season. Additionally having a National reach with station ownership gives us and our clients leverage no local agency has at hand. Finally we maintain a day-to-day connectivity with each local station and their management as well as the rep to insure your voice continues to be heard throughout the election cycle.
If you are noticing your spots disappearing call us. We will evaluate your situation for free. We will tell you a solution that that will work for your individual situation and, without solicitation, thank you for your call.
Correct. We will not solicit you because this blog does that already.
Richard Sackett / CEO / Group Matrix