TV networks try to use weak ad market to settle ad delivery debts to advertisers

If there’s a silver lining to the lower advertiser demand and increased viewership that TV networks have experienced since March, it’s that the networks have an opportunity to settle their debts with advertisers for ads that previously ran but failed to reach the agreed-upon number of people. However, getting advertisers to agree to these so-called “make-goods” right now can be as much of a negotiation as a regular sale. Case in point: one of The Media Kitchen’s clients is owed “a couple hundred thousand dollars” in TV ad inventory for a campaign that ran in the fourth quarter of 2019 and under-delivered, said Clair Bergam, associate media director at The Media Kitchen. Problem is, like many advertisers, that client has stopped advertising on TV or streaming following the coronavirus crisis and corresponding economic downturn. As a result, it has refrained from agreeing to let the networks to run ads to make up for the shortfall.   “A couple spots outside of a larger linear campaign is just a waste, so we’ve been holding on to them in hopes that maybe we’ll have a Q4 flight come back later in the year.

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