The sagging economy is sparking chatter that in September clients may trim ad dollars they committed for the fall TV season. "There definitely seems to be a lot more smoke" about finalizing
upfront buys, says one media buyer. "I know the networks are nervous. I have had a couple of people ask about trimming."
How much might be lost? Typically, between 2% and 3% of ad
time ordered in the upfront "slips" each year when the time comes for advertisers to finalize their buys. Media buyers say it will be 4% or more this year.
Rino Scanzoni, Group M chief investment officer, says networks probably anticipated a higher amount of trimming and therefore "allowed the sell-out rates to go as high as they did" in this past upfront market.