Screen Media says…

12 May 2008 – 2:02 pm

Credit crunch hitting UK screen-media budgets

by Steve Gold, business correspondent

British advertisers are becoming much more aware of screen media and are starting to compare ratecards for different locations as a result – but the credit crunch is tightening budgets, Xavier Adam, managing director of AMC Network, has warned.

“They will come to me and talk about a broad media campaign that includes [digital] signage, but when it comes down to the budgets, they starting pruning when they see the total costs,” he said.

“They start to prune entire sections of the campaign in order to save on budgets. This means that a client may look at a signage system as part of a larger campaign, but shy away from screen media when they see the costs involved. Clients are now very, very price-sensitive. They look at what has worked for them in the past and tend to stay with a winning formula. This means that no amount of discounting is going to win many of them over.”

At the same time, he said, many clients are starting to fix a budget for each campaign and stick to that budget no matter what new media happens to come along and pique their interest.

The bottom line of Adam’s clients’ viewpoint on screen media is that it is “nice to have, but not essential in any modern media campaign”.

“Clients continue to specify TV and radio advertising as part of their campaigns, but signage is not essential, so [networks] need to be flexible when it comes to their ratecards,” he said.

And they also shouldn’t expect media buyers and advertisers to spend much time trying to gauge the worth of a screen-media advertising opportunity. “Clients are almost overwhelmed with choices [of advertising channels] at the moment. As a result they have little or no time to research or quantify the rates,” he said.

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