When will TV advertising money start moving on the Web? No time soon, says Margaret Clerkin who helps allocate some $175 million in Web advertising money for clients of MindShare Interaction North America, a unit of WPP. But Clerkin says she is itching to start spending money on mobile ads — once the carriers get their act together.
Silicon Alley Insider: Do you see TV losing advertising share in 2008 to online?
Margaret Clerkin: We’ve seen significant share-shift from newspapers and print to online. But everything we’ve seen is that online and TV are the most powerful combination to move brand metrics. People are not giving up their big screens. I haven’t seen major share shift yet, and I don’t know if there ever needs to be.
SAI: Do you participate in the so-called ‘upfronts’ negotiations held by the portals and some specialised publishers?
Clerkin: If we want to own a particular show, and want it to own it online too, there is an advantage to going upfront with digital video. We’ve done it for a couple of different clients. We don’t buy all our inventory upfront but we do buy exclusive placements upfront.
SAI: Last year, marketers couldn’t get enough online video and supply was tight. This year, there seems to be a surplus of ad inventory. What’s your take?
Clerkin: There is more inventory in the digital video space as the networks digitize their libraries of video and put more content online. It’s more complicated than the TV model on the web. There are tools and systems that the portals could put into place to simplify it but they haven’t done that yet. We purchase [online video] differently, its trafficked differently. Tagging and tracking is more complicated, but it should simplify over time.
SAI: Ad rates for online video ads have been all over the place. Why?
Clerkin: It’s all based on whether people go to watch the video or not; whether they can serve the amount of video impressions they committed to upfront. If they get a new distribution partner, there could be a significant increase in supply [of viewers]. It’s really hard for us to know with their content deals what the networks and the sites are going to do in terms of marketing.
SAI: Speaking of network content, is the NBC U-News Corp. joint venture Hulu in your marketing plans?
Clerkin: We are selectively testing it and working on a plan. It’s not a top priority, but it will be in our plans for some clients.
SAI: Where do you expect you’ll be placing ads in 2008?
Clerkin: You’ve got to get the numbers where the masses reside. We are playing with the AOLs and the Yahoos and the MSNs. We do a lot of pharmaceuticals sites. We are heavy into sports from the Sprint side. For Unilever [owner of Axe], we’ll buy Collegehumor and Heavy, as well as a lot of viral marketing. Social networking has become a marketing tool and we’re using it more and more with clients.
SAI: Are there other new platforms you’ll experiment with?
Clerkin: We hope to say that about mobile; it keeps sitting there at the tipping point year after year. I have a big budget to put on phones. The tech is there. The carriers have been very cautious about how they open up their inventory. They want to make sure they know what the consumer sensitivities are. The other thing holding it back is mobile search is pathetic.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.