Marketing

Rivals For Video Subs Set Aside Differences For Sake Of Ad Sales

5/02/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

In March, at a 4A’s (American Association
of Advertising Agencies) conference in Texas,
rep firm NCC Media announced something called
I+, an effort to expand local cable ad-sales interconnects
with telco-video and satellite-TV subscribers.
Last week, to make sure ad buyers really
got the message, NCC assembled a rivals’ gallery
of executives behind the campaign: top ad-sales
executives from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and
Cox Communications (NCC’s owners), and from
AT&T, Verizon Communications and DirecTV.

At the breakfast gathering last Wednesday, at the
plush new Eventi Hotel in New York, the veteran
crew of ad sellers played nicely and stayed on message
— that the union will boost everyone’s sales.

But a few friendly gibes were inevitable.

Jason Malamud, general manager of Verizon’s
FiOS Advertising, segued into an endorsement of
working together by first saying how FiOS is convinced
it has the best triple-play product, the best
customer service and some other “best” attributes.

“You’re pushing it, Jason,” Billy Farina, senior vice
president of advertising sales at Cox Media, interjected.
“You better get to ad sales fast.”

Comcast Spotlight president Charlie Thurston
talked about how, several years ago, Comcast president
Steve Burke endorsed approaching DirecTV
about reselling local
advertising
avails, and even
arranged the first
meeting with the
satellite-TV provider’s
then-chief,
Chase Carey.

Thurston said
Burke later said
that he only did
that “because I
thought you had
zero chance of success.”

Powell Keeps Date With
‘America’s Promise’ But
Leaves Another ‘Alliance’

Michael Powell, the
former Federal Communications
Commission
chairman, started
his new job as head of
the National Cable &
Telecommunications
Association
last week
(see Cover Story). But it’s likely at one
of his first public appearances,
he will be
wearing a different hat.

Powell is listed
among those scheduled
to attend a May 3 launch event for the America’s Promise Alliance,
as co-chair of its Grad Nation campaign.

Powell’s parents, Colin and Alma Powell, founded the alliance,
which prepares kids for college and employment.

An NCTA representative said Powell would retain the America’s
Promise Alliance post while at the cable trade group.

But he is giving up another “alliance”: Powell has bowed out as
honorary co-chair of the Broadband Innovation Alliance. In that
post, he was representing major cable operators advocating for
marketplace, rather than government-driven, broadband deployment.
So he might be out of sight, but won’t be out of mind.

November

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