60 Minutes Takes Page From The New Yorker’s Playbook

CBS News: For the first time in its 37-year history, 60 Minutes will feature an exclusive advertiser, Philips, which will give back half of the program’s commercial time to allow the news magazine’s stories to run longer.
Under the arrangement, Philips will purchase all of the commercial time typically allotted to 60 Minutes, but only use half the time for ads. The result will be longer stories and only half the usual commercials, with the first two stories airing uninterrupted.
“Selfishly speaking, this is a dream come true because we’re getting more time to tell the stories that have made 60 Minutes the most watched newsmagazine on television,” said Executive Producer Jeff Fager. “It’s also a bonus for the viewers, who will get to see longer stories with fewer interruptions. We’re very pleased to be participating in this unique arrangement, and we look forward to other opportunities like it.”
Andrea Ragnetti, chief marketing officer of Royal Philips Electronics, said the company chose 60 Minutes because of its simple, yet straightforward format. “By reducing commercials, we could actually help the show extend the length of the stories, thus simplifying and enhancing the viewing experience for the audience,” the spokesperson said.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. The idea sounds altruistic but I don’t entirely buy it.
    Total sponsorship of a television program is hardly a new idea (remember, that’s how most of the “classic” television programs were financed and how much of PBS still works today). Instead, I see Philips trying something new that could, very well, be an interesting trend in media buying … they’re buying out the potential clutter of competing messages and filling the available time with programming rather than more of their own commercial message.
    Very clever. I wonder if it will have the desired effect.
    I’ve blogged about this as well (“Much Ado About Marketing”) and will keep an eye out for other reviews of this strategy.
    Mike Bawden
    Brand Central Station

  2. To say nothing of the pr value of this move for Phillips.

  3. Nice idea, but… too little, too late. It ain’t 1992 anymore.