Initiative Media Execs See Rosy '03


In Initiative Media's latest IMsight newsletter, released Thursday,
Interpublic Group of Cos.' media-buying-unit executives offered generally
bullish views on the ad outlook for next year.

Initiative Media North America executive vice president Tim Spengler, who
said the TV networks' "comeback" in 2002 also benefited cable and syndication,
added that the outlook for 2003 seems "very healthy, with a record-low level of
first-quarter [upfront] options being taken and scatter deals going at more than
25 percent over upfront [prices]."

Indeed, Spengler predicted, "The '03-'04 upfront will be strong." As clients
seek ways to stand out in the "increasingly cluttered media universe," he
expects "more cross-media deals and product integration within programming."

To that, research executive VP Ira Sussman added, the impact of personal
video recorders, video-on-demand and interactive TV "has just begun." So far, he
said, "We caught a glimpse of how [these new technologies] will change the way
people use the medium."

Initiative Media Worldwide CEO Alec Gerster expects advertisers to "begin to
exploit [high-definition TV and its clearer picture as an] inexpensive boost to
visual communication."

In addition, Gerster said, "The battle between digital cable and satellite
[will] jump-start digital-TV penetration."