AGENCY EXECS WARN FCC ON MEDIA POLICY

Tell Feds Consolidation Will Drive Up Spending Costs

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Taking their first position in the media consolidation debate, members of the media policy committee of the American Association of Advertising Agencies criticized the results of loosened federal limits on media ownership in a meeting with staff officials of the Federal Communications Commission.

A 4A's executive

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present at the 90-minute closed door meeting last week said the buyers complained that consolidation is driving up marketer costs, eliminating needed program diversity and, in some cases, preventing the purchase of ads in geographies small enough for some marketers, such as smaller retailers, to compete.

Media buyers told the FCC that marketers can't easily substitute TV for radio or print for TV, as those who want the FCC to loosen media consolidation rules claim.

The media buyers said the "homogenization" of local radio, taken together with cable consolidation, has made it difficult for retailers with just a few stores to compete or to market regional products.

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