The general upfront marketplace remained quiet, but there was some
significant activity by two major advertisers that occurred outside of the
upfront realm, involving Procter & Gamble Co. and Ford Motor Co.
P&G announced a one-year cross-platform buy Thursday from Viacom Inc.'s
Viacom Plus unit, while the automaker's Ford division announced its own 18-month
buy of various interactive-program-guide services from Gemstar-TV Guide
P&G's reported $300 million media buy for multiple brands via MediaVest
USA is 'the largest such deal to date,' according to a joint statement by
P&G and Viacom.
The media assets bought range from the CBS Television Network and seven cable
networks to Paramount Television and King World Productions. The cable networks
are Black Entertainment Television, Comedy Central, Country Music Television,
MTV: Music Television, MTV2, VH1 and Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite.
P&G global marketing officer Robert Wehling said in a prepared statement,
'Through our enhanced relationship with Viacom Plus, P&G gains greater
access to desired programming and significantly increased opportunities for
Gemstar-TV Guide's buy, through J. Walter Thompson Co., will run through the
third quarter of 2002 and reach 12 million TV homes. It will enable Ford to
'test a variety of new technologies and experience the capabilities of what
interactive TV can do for us,' Ford marketing communications manager Rich
Stoddard said in a prepared statement.
'[This deal] is testimony that the IPG platform has achieved critical mass,'
Gemstar-TV Guide president of media sales Jeffrey Mahl added.