Starcom Gets Date-Specific With Syndicated Deal

Twentieth Television Agrees to Provide Ratings by Day

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In another attempt to establish more-precise metrics for buying TV advertising, media buyer Starcom USA and distributor Twentieth Television have made a deal under which Starcom will purchase ad time using ratings for specific days and dates, rather than the average viewing numbers that often are associated with syndicated-TV deals.

The thinking at Publicis Groupe's Starcom is that commercial ratings specific to the date when a marketer's ad airs will give a more-accurate picture of the audience that saw the spot. Syndicated-TV deals often use ratings data that reflect average viewing across the entire week in which a show airs.

Twentieth Television distributes such programming as "House of Payne," "The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet" and "Malcolm in the Middle."

Seeking finer measures
The pact comes as advertisers seek finer measures of TV performance. At a time when marketers can figure out how many potential customers respond to a web promotion, TV is coming under significantly more pressure to demonstrate measurable audience response to TV commercials.

Under the aegis of Chris Boothe, president-chief activation officer, and other staffers, Starcom has done such things as sign up for data from TNS Media Research that provide second-by-second information on the behavior of a select group of digital-cable users.

Starcom also entered into a pact with Discovery Communications that uses that second-by-second data to guarantee viewership on the Discovery HD Theater channel. Just as syndicated TV is often judged on weekly ratings when more-detailed measures can be devised, digital-cable channels often go without official Nielsen measures because their audiences are too small, and advertisers are forced to make deals without standardized measures in place.
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