Upfront: TiVo; NBC; J&J Skips; More Choices

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TiVo grabbed some headlines with a seven-figure upfront buy by Interpublic Media, which oversees the buying for Interpublic Group agencies including Universal McCann. It’s a first for TiVo. Press release.
Advertising: NBC Looks Beyond TV for a Prime-Time Revival: Stuart Elliott writes that the list of new media ideas offered during the two-hour upfront presentation at Radio City Music Hall was so lengthy “that some members of the audience grew restive, wondering when Kevin Reilly, president at NBC Entertainment, would return to discuss the prime-time schedule.” (Can’t tell if he’s talking about advertisers/buyers or reporters.)
J&J Shuns Upfront, Coke Also Holds Back: Johnson & Johnson doesn’t want to commit its $500 million annual marketing budget during the upfront, preferring instead to operate on a calendar year rather than on broadcast time. Execs risk missing some TV opportunities but see clear alternatives. The company is putting 20 percent or more into non-traditional media, according to AdAge.
Shaking Up Tradition in the Way Ads Are Sold: “How is this upfront different from all other upfronts?” asked Charlie Rutman, chief executive for North America at MPG in New York, the media agency owned by Havas. He then answered his own question: “This upfront will be different because of all the choices. … The networks are doing a terrific job in opening up these new avenues to us.”
In Ad Bazaar, Hits Lend Clout to ABC (sub. req.): ABC ad sales head Mike Shaw is likley to go for modest increases and heavy inventory sell.
NBC upfront inventory drops to 70%: Facing an uncertain season, NBC will hold back about 30 percent of its primetime inventory — more than last year.
Falco: NBC Gloomy About Upfront, Hopeful For Digital: NBCU believes advertisers are holding some money back for good digital ideas.

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