GroupM is striking agreements with networks to do business on a C7 basis for its clients during upfronts, according to an AdAge story. Actual commitments for ad time aren’t the focus; instead the parties are laying groundwork to do deals that consider commercial ratings over the course of a week instead of the current industry standard of three days. The agreements will apply to broadcast entertainment prime time only, said the story.
GroupM has done select C7 deals in the past for specific clients, but these agreements will be broader and will apply to all of its clients. Fox and CBS confirmed they have each struck agreements with a major agency to do business on a C7 basis, but declined to identify the agency with AdAge.
GroupM media agencies include Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, Mindshare, QUISMA, Xaxis, Outrider, Kinetic, Quasar, IEG, Movent, Vocanic and Agency M.
NBC Universal has struck a similar agreement with Group M, according to the story.
TV networks have been pushing to get paid for advertising viewed within seven days after a program airs, but buyers have been slow to embrace the idea of paying for impressions they currently get for free. The GroupM agreements would be the most broad-reaching agreements to date for C7.
CBS CEO Les Moonves has been among the most vocal in pushing for C7 deals. At a conference in March, Moonves said, “Oh, I think it’s inevitable [C7] becomes the norm. I think more and more of it will happen this upfront. How much? We already have a couple of C7 deals operating right now. The sooner the better, obviously, for us. It’s going to increase quite a bit by this upfront. Whether it becomes the norm, quote-unquote, I’m not sure, but within — it won’t be long.”
RBR-TVBR observation: In the VOD universe, you’ll now often find pretty much the same ads as in the original broadcast, but you won’t be able to fast-forward them until after 3 days with many networks (thanks to C3 ratings currency)—meaning they’ve lost their value at that point. But the value is still there, at least up to 7 days after viewing for many advertisers—especially as viewing trends continue to shift more to on-demand than live. We think that C7 will eventually take root, but not the way you may think. First off, C7 ratings should be bought against a significant discount, and C7 really only applies to non-time sensitive advertisers. Bottom line, given the opportunity to watch a program on your time rather than a broadcast schedule is the wave of the future with viewers, even though most currently watch within the C3 window. Eventually, more ads will be served in real time so that delayed viewing will not get stale ads but new and current ones. Then, they can charge rates closer to those embedded in real-time viewing.