Ad Plans

SHurricane Katrina and the rising price of oil, these optimistic projections are made with the caveat of “but things could change.”

This holds true for all media, except network television, which is still the primary ad medium, according to David Poltrack, director of research and planning at CBS. “Even a down economy, when advertisers are just spending to maintain a marketing presence with consumers, is enough to sustain the TV networks,” he says. It’s the mass audience that draws advertisers. At least one media analyst confirms Poltrack’s findings. As he tells Mediaweek senior editor John Consoli, “Broadcast TV…has an ad resiliency that sometimes defies belief.”

And even as world events—and gas prices—continue to defy belief, our intrepid reporters have done their best to give readers a sense of what the 2006 media landscape will look like. Expect more podcast invasions, writes senior editor Katy Bachman; a lot of political ads from Hilary and the Governator, says spot TV writer Eric Schmuckler; newsstand wars, reports consumer magazine writer Stephanie D. Smith; and more auto advertising on the Internet, says interactive media writer Mike Shields.

In our annual Media Outlook Special Report, we report on what the major media will be facing as they come up against market forces they can’t control and changes within their category that they are looking toward. Our reporters speak to media executives and industry analysts, who make their own predictions on what will affect advertisers’ spending. Nature, and the evolving nature of the media business, seem to be top of mind heading into 2006.

Patricia Orsini

Editor, Special Reports