Some Pricey White Space

According to the Globe & Mail, organizers for the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games have snatched up $40-million in outdoor ad space stretching from the Peace Arch at the U.S.-Canada border to Whistler – all to ensure that advertisers who are not sponsors or partners of the Games are prevented from nabbing billboards or transit ads that could be captured by TV cameras or seen as being part of the festivities.
Problem is, just six months from the start of the games, the organizers are still on the hook for more than 30 per cent of its ad space which has yet to be sold to official sponsors.
A comment on the article says it all:

What a stupid business plan! Buy millions of dollars of ad space to protect your sponsors, but if sponsors are not willing to pay for them, then eat the costs. Why not give the sponsors first rights to the space and if they do not take them, then auction them off to others who are willing to pay for it. If there are willing buyers of the space, then they should monetize it. Otherwise, any shortfall in the Olympics fall on taxpayers shoulders. Yeesh!



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.