Art & Commerce

Growth Waves McCann-Erickson’s fearless forecaster, Bob Coen, has made it official: Advertising grew by 7 percent in 1997, a percentage point more than the economy. Up 10.5 percent, television showed the spunkiest gains among the major media. The broadcast networks could not surpass their take from 1996; that year saw national elections and a Summer Olympics held in the U.S., a dream combo for ad spending. The big jump in television came from the cable networks, whose receipts surged 22 percent. Ad volume on network cable is now half as much as the take of the Big Three over-the-air nets, and gaining every year. Non-network cable, although barely 1 percent of total advertising, also had a good year. Over the next decade, this pint-sized medium may even become a contender for the all-around growth crown. As the cable industry moves toward the adoption of digital systems, it will become possible to beam specific ads to specific households: The addressability of mail, coupled with the impact of television, will be as close to nirvana as Madison Avenue can get. Since cable systems control the last mile of that pathway, advertisers seeking the ultimate in ad targeting will probably need to cut deals with the systems, which will surely catapult their revenues. –Alan Gottesman (westendal is principal of West End Consulting.

Revenues of selected media, according to Bob Coen, advertising scorekeeper extraordinaire

…..Medium…..’97 volume…..Change*
…..Direct mail…..$36,890…..6.9%

Source: McCann-Erickson. Dollar figures in millions. *Compared to ’96 volume