“Very Old Wine In New Bottles”

Long before he created the popular crime-solving TV series “Law & Order,” Dick Wolf was an ad man working for Benton & Bowles and other agencies. Mr. Wolf, 59, recently spoke with The Wall Street Journal about the changing relationship between advertisers and television.

WSJ: Decades ago, many programs were sponsored by a single advertiser, who often got to showcase their products during the show itself. Would you want to work with an advertiser in the early stages of coming up with scripts?
Mr. Wolf: In the old days, that was one of the only ways shows were done. Basically, networks were leasing systems. They leased their air to the advertisers. Kraft would come in and say, ‘We want Saturday at 10 this week, and we’ll pay for it,’ and it was Kraft’s television. This is very, very old wine in new bottles.

In related news from BBC, WPP’s media buying and planning arm Group M has entered into a deal with ABC to create a six-part drama.



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.