Wholesale TV and Radio Advertising holding “fire sale” auction today


Wholesale TV and Radio Advertising has a sizable amount of unsold direct-response spots still available for September, and the company has decided to make these spots available through a blind auction.

The format for the auction – an event organizers believe is the largest of its kind in the nation – goes as follows: On Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. CT, all registered bidders will receive the company’s inventory listing and bid sheet via e-mail. Bidders will have until Sunday, Aug. 10 to select the inventory they would like to purchase. They will then place the corresponding bids and return the bid sheet to Wholesale TV and Radio Advertising.

"Interest in the auction so far, has been fantastic," said Dennis Zedrick, CEO of Wholesale TV and Radio Advertising. "We have 25 pre-registered bidders already and are planning on accepting only 25 more for a total of 50."

On Aug. 11, the company will begin compiling the bids from all registered participants. Zedrick stated that the retail value of the September inventory is around $8,000,000 based on standard station/agency pricing of $10 CPM. Minimum auction bids will start as low as $.75 cents CPM on some inventory and the rest will start at $1.50 CPM. After a couple of days, Wholesale TV and Radio Advertising will notify bidders with the bid results. Spots for winning bids will begin airing on Wednesday, Sept. 3 and end on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Says Zedrick: “Based on gut instinct and feedback received from clients, I believe 70% of the inventory will go in the mid $2 CPM range. 20% will go in the upper $1 CPM range, and 10% you will be able to steal for the minimum bid. Really though, your guess is as good as mine. We will let the clients control the marketplace. That is what an auction is all about."

Zedrick also added that as long as the company has unsold inventory, they plan on having this auction around the same time on a monthly basis.

Highlights of the auction:

154,000 TV & radio spots available for September
186 markets available (110 DMAs & 76 TSAs)
1,273 broadcast stations available (323 TV and 950 radio)
800 million impressions available for September

RBR/TVBR observation: DR is flooding radio and television right now. Goes to show you how weak the marketplace might really be. This is a lot of inventory–likely not prime dayparts, but a shining example of how prime advertisers have gone to new media options. Nonetheless, with the technology there to conduct this kind of business, it’s better than being stuck with unsold inventory at the station level. Wholesale TV and Radio Advertising, this being their first auction, might actually make a good chunk of change with this auction. Yes, traditional media inventory is being commoditized, but at least the airwaves are not full of PSAs.