Peacock’s Feathers Ruffled Over Co-branded Ad Deal with Cesario Migliozzi

By Matt Van Hoven 

The story immediately below this post talks about Cesario Migliozzi’s plan to create an eight-way ad for the upcoming Superbowl. Yesterday, AdWeek published NBC’s statements on the issue, which noted that the deal was “dead” and “and there is no way” is was going to happen. The agency is now asking NBC (via lawyer) to retract those comments, calling them “defamatory.”

“At this time we are demanding a full retraction of these statements by NBC,” states the letter.

A source close to the matter told AgencySpy that as of Monday, all signs were go for the co-branded plan (recall, eight brands would buy-in to a $3 million spot during the SUperbowl) &#151 and that almost overnight, arrangements that were made with NBC had completely dissolved. Leading up to yesterday’s news that NBC was not playing ball, we’re told network sales reps. were more than intrigued by the opportunity and the creative strategy CM was employing to sell their ad space.

“(The agency’s plans) were basically protecting (NBC’s) rate card,” said a source familiar with the matter, referring to the plan to charge each contributor $395,000. The spy went on to say that NBC was even offering kick-off time slots, space that’s highly sought after.

Reasons for NBC’s decision to pull out of the deal (and negate it as a possibility) are speculative at best. But if we were spending $3 million and found out we could have bought placement for um, 10 percent of that cost, we’d be pissed at NBC. Just sayin’.

The statements at issue are as follows: “Furthermore, an NBC rep said it was never in the cards,” and “‘It’s dead,’ reinforced an NBC rep, who insisted that the agency was never upfront about the exact plan until it went public yesterday.”

In a letter to NBC, CM’s lawyer writes, “These statements are untrue and desperate attempts to quell complaints from your existing advertisers to the detriment of my client. My client has been very forthcoming about its intent to co-brand the advertisements…”

According to the letter, Michael Migliozzi, who is the CM staffer that was dealing with NBC’s LA office, left a voice mail with Seth Winter at NBC, explaining his intent. That was “on or about” Dec. 15. Corbin Snelleman of NBC Sports and Olympic Sales Los Angeles returned the call, at which time he and Mr. Migliozzi apparently had “open and frank” conversations about the co-branded plan.

“For (NBC) to turn around is bullshit,” said our source.

Following the aforementioned conversations, CM issue a press release on Dec. 19th, last Friday, further detailing their plans. But by late evening the following night, the whole thing had basically disintegrated. AgencySpy is told that at least six brands were “firmly committed,” and a handful of others were being considered. Word from our source is that those negotiations have likely fallen through, meaning lost revenue for CM.

As best as anyone can tell, the groundwork was laid for this plan to succeed. But NBC’s reversal suggests greater concerns are at play &#151 or at least that the network has taken issue with CM’s plan to dice up the ad space, so to speak. Maybe they didn’t want to start a trend, or as we mentioned earlier, fears of how clients would react may have been at play. Whatever the case, Cesario Migliozzi feels they were defamed.

Click continued to see the cease and desist we received.

We’ll have more for you on this matter as it happens.

More: “NBC Sacks 8-way Superbowl Ad


I represent Cesario Migliozzi, which was defamed by NBC in the Adweek story referenced above. Below is Cesario Migliozzi’s response to NBC’s defamatory statements. –Ted Faraone

—— Forwarded Message
From: Joseph Sofio
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2008 17:39:40 -0800
To:
Cc: , michael migliozzi , Enzo Cesario
Subject: Cesario Migliozzi / Defamation of Professional Reputation

December 23, 2008

VIA CERTIFIED MAIL and ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION

Mr. Seth Winter
SVP, Sports & Olympic Sales
30 Rockefeller Plaza
Room 4790E
New York, NY 10009

RE: CESARIO MIGLIOZZI, LLC vs. NBC SPORTS / DEFAMATION OF PROFESSIONAL REPUTATION
Dear Mr. Winter:
I am counsel for Cesario Migliozzi, LLC (“CM”) the Los Angeles based advertising agency that was in discussions with Corbin Snelleman from NBC Sports and Olympic Sales Los Angeles (“NBC”) office for a co-branded Superbowl advertisement. All further correspondence regarding this matter shall be directed to this office.
Statements made by “NBC Representatives” to Steve McClellen from Adweek and published on Adweek.com are untrue and damaging to my client’s professional reputation. Please see the attached copy of Mr. McClellan’s article of today containing the defamatory statements. Specifically, the statements are as follows:
Paragraph 5: Furthermore, an NBC rep said it was never in the cards
Paragraph 6: “It’s dead,” reinforced an NBC rep, who insisted that the agency was never upfront about the exact plan until it went public yesterday.
These statements are untrue and desperate attempts to quell complaints from your existing advertisers to the detriment of my client. My client has been very forthcoming about its intent to co-brand the advertisements, since Michael Migliozzi of CM initial message left on your voicemail on or about December 15, 2008. After which Mr. Migliozzi received a call from Mr. Snelleman. His discussions and correspondence with Mr. Snelleman were open and frank. My client issued a press release of with its plans on December 19th and was scheduled to present specific advertisers and concept on December 29, 2008.
At this time we are demanding a full retraction of these statements by NBC. If we do not receive the above requested items within three (3) business days of the date of this letter, we shall file for defamation of reputation against you personally and NBC. If you have any questions please feel free to contact my office.
We look forward to your response.
Very truly yours,
Joseph M. Sofio

*********************
joseph m. sofio, esq.
law office of joseph m. sofio
10 universal city plaza, 20th floor
universal city, ca 91608
818.753.2390 t.
818.753.2310 f.
joe@builtentertainment.com
**********************

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