TV Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That

Dear traditional ad man, you are still in the game. But you knew that all along, didn’t you?
Whether your confidence waned or not, here’s some sweet music for your ears from Los Angeles Times:

After pummeling traditional media companies for nearly two years, the advertising recession is showing signs of a recovery. TV networks — including Fox, CBS and ABC and such leading cable channels as TNT, TBS, USA, Bravo and Fox News Channel — have benefited the most as advertisers have been snapping up available commercial spots and agreeing to pay significantly higher prices than they did just five months ago.
“In challenging times, people go back to what they know, and what they know best is television,” said David Levy, president of sales for Turner Entertainment, which includes TNT and TBS. “It is a little too early to declare victory, but the market is definitely improving.”
“A year ago, people thought the world was coming to an end, and the U.S. economy was falling apart,” Gary Carr, executive director of TargetCast said. “But the world did not come to an end. Cars still have to be sold, and studios still need people to go see their movies. Advertisers have begun releasing the money that they have been holding onto all year.”

That’s good, because freelance copywriters (like me) still need to make ads for a living. I’m sure you can relate.

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. There are so many ways to interpret the “recovery.” For starters, it might be rooted in the economic times. That is, people struggling with money are less inclined to go out, opting to stay at home and watch TV. Additionally, the enhanced offerings from the cable stations like TNT and TBS make people want to tune in. So there might be a larger audience. And it’s true that cars need to be sold and movies need to be seen. But there is no evidence that TV commercials are still best suited to handle those jobs anymore (besides, the car industry and movie industry are not doing well right now). Networks can rightly claim they are drawing audiences. They cannot claim that advertising on the airtime will lead to sales. That’s one of the issues no one in the advertising or media industry is going to touch right now – especially if their livelihoods are tied to producing commercials and selling media time.