Waiting For The Next Media Advertising 'Bureau' Change

In the ‘90s, the broadcast networks wanted to start up their own advertising lobbying organization to combat cable TV, which was viewed for many years as the main competition. That organization -- the Network Television Association -- didn’t last long. The membership roster was slim, after all.

Another reason for the group’s short life: It was around this time that those same broadcast networks starting buying big cable networks.

Today all broadcast networks and their media holding companies have some cable network assets.

So it makes sense then that the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau now becomes the Video Advertising Bureau: a united front of broadcasting and cable networks. And digital companies are of course represented by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

One side note here: A year ago next month, another broadcast programming advertising organization ended. The Syndicated Network Television Association, born out of the Advertiser Syndicated Television Association 16 years before, disbanded.



Why? Its members, few in number,  believed they could just do the job themselves. And, hey, they could probably save themselves a few bucks, we are guessing. Oh, and by the way, major members included syndication units of NBC, Fox, CBS, and ABC, as well as Warner Bros. and MGM.

So now imagine where this is going.  Going forward, the VAB says it will focus on “content” -- the stuff the traditional TV networks have in droves. The IAB is about all things digital. And when you take a look at digital video, in particular premium digital video -- who are the strongest players?

Ah hah! Those same big media network organizations -- running TV programs on the likes of Hulu Plus and their associated network-branded apps.

Think about 10 -- or perhaps five years -- from now, when there will be a new media/entertainment threat to both the VAB and the IAB -- perhaps holographic, user-generated, customizable content!  

And then think of another advertising industry association transformation.

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