Art & Commerce




Representative Sample Almost half of an average TV station’s revenue comes from selling advertising to sponsors that are not based in the station’s home market. When a station in St. Petersburg, Fla., for example, runs ads from a Cincinnati soap maker, it probably was not a St. Pete salesperson who did the national spot deal. Rather, the station used one of several national sales-rep companies to carry its banner to the far-away advertiser. Handling stations all over the country, rep firms are calling on advertisers and agencies across all categories-which gives the reps a bird’s-eye view of the ad market. One rep recently summarized activity in 1997’s third quarter: Using the categories that account for 80 percent of a typical TV station’s national spot business, total volume rose more than 13 percent year to year. All the major categories-those accounting for more than a percent or two of the total-were up, with the two largest categories, auto and food, up the most. Political ads (few big elections this year), air freight (the UPS strike?) and airlines (load factors going through a cyclical upswing) were among the big downers in the quarter. -Alan Gottesman (westendal pobox.com) is principal of West End Consulting.

THE GOTTESMAN FILE

Auto ads, which account for 21 percent of a TV station’s national spot revenue, increased by 24 percent in 1997’s third quarter.

…..Category…..Percentage of total…..Change
…..Auto…..21%…..24%
…..Food…..16%…..30%
…..Movies…..8%…..5%
…..Retail…..8%…..1%
…..Fast food…..7%…..18%
…..Telecommunications…..6%…..1%
…..Financial…..3%…..12%
…..Infomercials…..2%…..14%
…..Source: West End Research