Procter & Gamble Co., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Kraft Foods are among those whose media departments are believed to be taking a serious look at other media options. P&G is specifically eyeing print and radio. Last year, P&G spent $197.3 million in magazines while Kraft spent $7.7 million.
Elsewhere, MasterCard International, which recently switched from DeWitt Media, New York, to GSD&M, Austin, Texas, for media buying, is definitely lining up more print, event sponsorships and local TV in next year's advertising as it begins to pursue a more upscale audience.
That, however, appears to have been part of a long-term strategic change that began some six months earlier, when the account first went up for review, said Judy Trabulsi, exec VP-director of media at GSD&M.
In Detroit, Ford Motor Co. appears close to cinching a deal with Hachette Filipacchi Magazines to produce a 13th issue of Elle this fall. The 100-page or so issue, which would be solely sponsored by the Ford Division, would carry about 60 editorial pages.
For P&G, the move appears to have been a more recent reaction to the TV market.
As recently as May, the company was consolidating media buying for all women's service magazines with Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, New York. Executives involved with those negotiations said indications at the time were that P&G was only increasing its ad budget modestly from the $68.1 million that it spent on the Seven Sisters last year.
Those ad placements, which should start appearing in the August issue that will hit newsstands later this month, were made before the frenzy of the TV upfront, and its sky-high pricing structure. Even with the 20% price increase for commercial time, the market was saturated and many brands left without a home.
Industry executives say that TeleVest, the TV media buying arm of D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, has a "significant" amount of money from "several major clients."
Reno Scanzoni, director of national broadcast at TeleVest, however, insisted he has little money left after the upfront market ended.
"We spent exactly what we intended to spend in the upfront market," said Mr. Scanzoni. "There may have been more change and more churn in remixing media plans because of the change in [TV] pricing structures, but that was probably done before the upfront market." So far, one of the earliest beneficiaries appears to be outdoor advertising. In the third quarter-July through September-inventory has dropped compared with a year ago.
"A scan of OAAA membership indicates double-digit growth in the second half of 1995 vs. the second half of 1994," said Diane Cimine, exec VP-chief marketing officer of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.
Among national advertisers, the strongest categories are auto, travel/tourism/entertainment, fast-food, tobacco and media.
"We are enjoying a pretty good year so far," said Don Davidson, president-CEO of Gannett Outdoor Group. "Sales are up considerably over last year.... Our growth, however, is coming from nontraditional outdoor advertisers."
Although newspapers and magazines have been enjoying strong single-digit ad page gains through the early part of the year, they have yet to reap benefits from TV.
"Most of the big TV advertisers would be looking at the fourth quarter if they're moving to print and the first issue of the quarter, October, doesn't close for another month," said Michael Clinton, senior VP, Conde Nast Publications.
That's assuming brands have print creative in-house.
Meredith Corp. VP-Publishing Director Bob Mate noted brands without creative probably wouldn't have anything ready to move before the first of the year.
Contributing to this story: Michael Wilke, Jennifer DeCoursey and Joe Mandese.