4As Scraps Annual Ad Production Cost Survey

After 25 years, the 4As has opted to discontinue its annual TV production cost survey, the advertising trade group has confirmed.

The last survey came out a year ago and reported that production costs for TV ads jumped sharply in 2011 -- up 7% to $298,000- -- after being nearly flat in 2010. Looking at just the 30-second spots, about 60% of the ads analyzed, the cost bump was 9% to an average cost of $354,000.

A rep for the group confirmed that it would not be issuing a report on TV production costs this year, but did not elaborate.

But according to Bill Duggan, Group EVP at the Association of National Advertisers, the report had become obsolete. “Who shoots just a 30-second commercial (alone) anymore?” Duggan said in a blog entry on the ANA site. “And what is a "commercial" anyway?”

The survey sliced and diced cost data in various ways and provided cost breakouts by type of commercial, music costs and advertising category, among other segments.

“The traditional 30-second commercial was largely a one-time event for most marketers,” Duggan wrote. “But today, many marketers are producing episodic videos … and distributing them on various platforms – paid, owned and earned. Marketers and their agency partners have gotten smarter over the years and learned to produce video content more efficiently.”



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