Toyota Drops Out of 'Antiques Roadshow'

PBS Sales Group Is On the Hunt for Sponsors

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NEW YORK ( -- PBS is on the hunt for a new sponsor for "Antiques Roadshow" after Toyota decided to drop the long-running series from its media mix. The Sponsorship Group for Public Television is currently searching for a replacement to join insurance marketer Liberty Mutual and sleep aide Lunesta, both of which currently support the show on air and online.
'Antiques Roadshow' is the highest-rated PBS show on the air.
'Antiques Roadshow' is the highest-rated PBS show on the air.

"Antiques Roadshow" is the highest-rated PBS show on air and regularly garners a five household rating.

Marcia Hertz, the sponsorship group's managing director-marketing and client services, national sponsorship, said a search was under way to replace the auto giant. A call to the advertising department of Toyota was not returned.

Several new PBS offerings
The "Antiques Roadshow" opportunity is one of a number of offerings currently being shopped by the Boston-based PBS sponsorship group. For marketers with $1.5 million to spare, PBS is co-branding video shorts, or interstitials, to promote the flagship documentary series "American Experience." The video shorts, which will run nationally, will mark the first time PBS has allowed advertiser-tagged interstitials to appear on its public-broadcasting affiliates. In addition to having their names attached to the 12 short program segments illustrating historic moments in American history, sponsors will be offered a podcast presence.

And while PBS certainly limits what an advertiser can do on its stations, the sponsorship group is sweetening its deals. The premiere sponsor of "American Experience," for example, will be featured at a screening at the Sundance film festival and will get exposure at a branded screening event in New York.

Ms. Hertz said PBS had become much more responsive to advertiser needs in recent months, and she said the network can get spots on and off air much more quickly than before. "We are much more flexible," she said. "Something other than 12-month sponsorships are up for discussion."

Success with other shows
Though "Antique Roadshow" is now without is largest sponsor, the sponsorship group has had success signing up new marketers to back other PBS programs. Andrea Marder, senior VP-group account director, TargetCast TCM, New York, said she has just signed financial institution TIAA-Cref to sponsor "Gourmet's Diary of Foodie," a new PBS show which begins Oct. 7.

"We worked with [Conde Nast's] Gourmet and WGBH Boston in pulling together a multiplatform approach to reaching our target," said Ms. Marder. "We are sponsoring a microsite on" TIAA-Cref also sponsors PBS' "Real Simple," a TV version of the Time Inc. title.

On Oct. 1, PBS begins a banner-advertising initiative on specific pages of its website. PBS created a new online-sales division in August to sell those digital sponsorships and has already sold some of the inventory.
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