ANA Slams TV Nets for Filling Up Sidebar Pillars

Note to TV networks from the Association of National Advertisers: Stop filling up the sidebar pillars of certain ads with network logos or promotions.

In a strongly worded statement, the ANA’s Television & Video Committee took TV networks to task for filling up the pillars to the right and left sidebars of standard-definition commercials that air in high-definition feeds.

A recent example of the practice was a TBS promotion of Conan O’Brien, which showed Conan’s name in the pillars while an ad was airing.

“Any network logo or promotion competes for viewers’ attention and therefore reduces the effectiveness and devalues the investment of the advertising,” the ANA said. “The sidebar pillar real estate belongs to the advertiser and should either be left alone (and black) or enhanced only with the input and permission of an advertiser.”

The committee suggested that TV networks work with advertisers to add value to the ad message in creative ways that use the space, such as retail partner tie-ins.