Newly Released: “How to Really Buy Spot TV: The 12 Immutable Laws of Effective TV Buying”

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Despite a growing body of media research, the Â?art and scienceÂ? of negotiating TV or radio advertising media buys seems not to have changed in decadesÂ? based more on simplicity and myths than reality. We wonder what old John Wanamaker would say about the state of media buying today. (Wanamaker was the 19th century entrepreneur famous for saying, Â?I know that half of my advertising is wasted, I just donÂ?t know which half.Â?)

The myths surrounding the mysterious process of negotiating television and radio media buys are astounding, and rarely ever covered by the press or even in books about advertising media. But because negotiating the buy gets to the heart of whether the advertiser is getting its money’s worth, we interviewed an actual expert, Ron Geskey, CEO of 2020:Marketing Communications LLC, which publishes the very successful Thumbnail Media Planner and AdMediaStore,com. Geskey is also a former media director in several of the largest U.S. advertising agencies.

Q:: Advertisers spend nearly $100 billion on television and radio ad buys. Are advertisers getting their money’s worth-- full value-- in these buys?

A: I think some probably are, most are not.

Q: Why not?

A: For a lot of reasons. First, advertising media planners and buyers are trained to buy ratings rather than communication. Consequently, they are focused on meaningless cost efficiencies rather than cost effectiveness and ROI. To make matters worse, in most cases, the buys aren’t even negotiated to reach the real target audience. Unfortunately, few buyers even know the process for maximizing either cost efficiencies or cost effectiveness because they have not been trained to do so, and the buying function is usually understaffed. And, of course, a paradigm shift in agencies on how to best buy television and radio would require them to delicately re-educate their clients.

Q: What are some of the myths surrounding media buying that you have referred to?

A: The myths I’m referring to are the vague things agencies tell prospective clients in their new business pitches about why they can get the client more for their money. Usually statements describing some mysterious process of how a really “tough negotiator” without a big budget gets more because he/she is REALLY tough, or personally knows the stations’ sales managers (who, of course, also know the buyers with the big budgets).

Q: What is the financial impact of ineffective buying practices and myths on advertisers?

A: Let me answer that this way: 10% waste on a $100 billion broadcast investment is $10 billion-- which could have been additional shareholder profit—or $10 billion used to generate more business. The same principles apply to one advertiser who spends $1 million or even $50,000 in broadcast advertising. Plus, I think the waste from misguided buying practices is way higher than 10%.

Q: Why did you write “How to Really Buy TV: the 12 Immutable Laws” in presentation form?

A. Because what’s needed is training. “The 12 Immutable Laws of Effective Spot TV Buying” is a turnkey 100 slide (PPT), 3-4 hour “presentation in a box” covering the key buying considerations, research, and each of the 12 Immutable Laws. It presents a “new model” for buying TV which will deliver more communication (maybe fewer TRPS). The presentation was done so that an agency, advertiser-- or a medium—could use it for internal and client training.

About 2020:Marketing Communications LLC

2020 is a marketing and media consulting and publishing company. 2020 publishes the highly successful Thumbnail Media Planner and Geskey has also been a senior media and account management executive at Leo Burnett, D’Arcy, and Campbell Ewald.

To purchase “How to Really Buy Spot TV: the 12 Immutable Laws of Effective Spot TV Buying,” visit You can contact Ron Geskey to discuss this article or a consulting engagement via email or by phone.

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