Univision scraps upfront for direct approach


Univision announced plans to redefine its Upfront—scrap the NYC glitzy presentations and go directly to advertisers. This upfront, Univision will host regional “Partnership Forums” focused on helping companies capitalize on the power of the Hispanic consumer as a real growth lever for businesses today.  The forums will take place in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Dallas throughout April.

“In this financially challenging environment, the Hispanic consumer may be the only bright spot poised to deliver growth marketers can count on today,” said David Lawenda, president of Advertising Sales and Marketing. “This Upfront season we are on a mission to connect with every marketer and help them see what they are missing if they are not tapping the economic power of this fast growing consumer group.”

In order to better serve existing and potential clients, Lawenda assembled an in-house team of notable media industry executives, including Lisa McCarthy, (previously with CBS and Viacom) and Peter Lazarus (previously with NBC).  In addition, he recruited Graciela Eleta, a 20-year Procter & Gamble marketing veteran and multicultural expert. This team, armed with consumer, category and brand insights, advises clients from a total business perspective and deploys Univision’s proven TV, online, mobile, and radio assets to deliver results.

RBR/TVBR observation: Literally, the cost of a glitzy upfront may be seen by media buyers and advertisers these days as a frivolous expense that will inevitably be passed onto the advertisers. As with the consumer these days, price in this upfront will be more important than ever. If networks can drop their pricing just a bit by scrapping an upfront presentation, it might not be a bad idea to do so.