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If you have ever wondered why you might need a professional media buyer then this info is just for you.

Anyone can place a media buy on TV, radio, in newspapers or magazines. If you wanted to, you could simply call your favorite TV station and tell them what you’d like to invest in your TV advertising and they would put together a TV schedule for you. The two problems you would have are as follows:

1. You do all the work and you don’t save any money and may even pay more.

2. The sales rep at the TV station is trained in sales not media buying.

First of all we have had new clients tell us that the sales rep at a TV or radio station told them that by dealing direct they save the agency commission. This is simply never an accurate statement although some reps like to make that statement. The reason it isn’t true is that it would violate the policy of every TV and radio station in the country. TV and radio stations never want to cut out the ad agency fees because the bulk of their business comes from their ad agency clients. For this reason the rock bottom, lowest price the networks will ever give you always includes the agency fee. More importantly we know what the rates should be because our media buyer deals with TV stations all the time.

The second problem in dealing with the networks directly is that you are dealing with a sales rep who has been trained in sales not media buying. Additionally this sales rep has to answer to his or her boss. Let’s say for example the sales rep works for XYZ Network, then the only media buying assistance this rep can offer you is on the XYZ Network. Therefore the sales rep has a goal very different from your goal. You want to be on the right network where you are likely to get the best results and the sales rep wants you on the XYZ Network because that is where he or she is employed.

With a full service ad agency you and the agency have the same goal and the ad agency would only recommend the XYZ Network if that was the best place to advertise to reach your potential clients at the best rates.

Often we find that there is more than one network that may be able to reach your best prospects. This is where you’ll appreciate a media buyer having years of experience and the ability to look up Neilson or Arbitron ratings for every show being broadcast on TV or radio. We may find that one network has a show with ratings that are twice as good as a show on another network. However, it is not unusual to find that although the ratings for the demographic group you are trying to reach is twice as good they may want to sell 30 second spots for three times as much as a competitor. Please see the example below.

The Best Ratings Are Not Always The Best Deal


XYZ Network 7:00PM Show has a 6.0 Rating
30-second spots sell for $300.00 each
$30,000.00 budget allows you to reach 3 million viewer 3 times
Running 100 spots

LMN Network 7:00PM Show has a 3.0 Rating
30-second spots sell for $100.00 each
$30,000.00 budget allows you to reach 3 million viewers 5 times
Running 300 spots

In the example above you can see that just because a show has a better rating doesn’t mean that we want to advertise on that show. It is not unusual to see a show with good ratings charging well above what they should. TV advertising prices are based upon demand and what people are willing to pay. When a show is popular the networks will charge whatever they can get people to pay. This is where having our experienced media buyer shop around for you pays off in a big way. Very often the best deals are on the shows with lower ratings where we can buy more spots. In this example we are able to run our spots 3 times as often which more than makes up for the rating of the show being half of the more popular show. Only a professional media buyer would have access to the tools required to search out the best value for your advertising dollars.

Please click for general information on the cost to advertise on TV and you’ll see a page we wrote for college students doing research on TV advertising. This page also explains some advertising terms such as “Reach” and “Frequency” as well as an explanation about “Gross Rating Points”.

Please click for a free price quote on Media Buying.