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By Published on .

Turner Broadcasting Sales has entered into a precedent-setting $40 million to $50 million upfront sales deal with McCann-Erickson Worldwide.

The global package encompasses close to 20 McCann clients and Turner's CNN, CNN International, Cartoon Network, Superstation TBS and TNT. Both the TNT and Cartoon Network portions also involve Asia-Pacific and Europe.

McCann and sister media entity Universal McCann claim to be the world's No. 1 buyer of ad time and space, with more than $13 billion in spending for such clients as Cathay Pacific Airlines, Coca-Cola Co., General Motors Corp., Nestle and Reckitt & Colman.


Turner Broadcasting System President Steve Heyer has been trying to accomplish this type of deal for some time. More than a year ago, he was involved in a series of meetings with various WPP Group executives.

"Ultimately, that deal never materialized because we couldn't figure how to get all the people together in a room who would have had to sign off on it," Mr. Heyer said.

Mr. Heyer and Bill Cella, exec VP-broadcast and programming at McCann, said the primary reason this deal was completed is that they had full authority to ink it.

"There weren't a lot of people involved," Mr. Cella said. "Steve and I constructed the deal, and people quarterbacked it here and internationally, and that's how it got done."


While the size of the pact is certainly hefty, Mr. Heyer looks upon it as "a foundation deal. We've now moved to a different level with McCann. We've always had a good relationship, but we've moved from vendor to partner."

Both executives agreed the deal is more about moving forward in a partner relationship than it is about just buying commercial time.

"We now have a framework, and we'll fill in a lot of the details as we go," Mr. Heyer said. "That's the exciting part going forward. Having made this commitment to each other, Bill will be beneficiary of opportunities to inventory that really speaks to his client's needs, and we'll be the beneficiary of incremental dollars that also speak to his client's needs."

Both executives also predicted there will be more of these global deals in the new millennium.

"As the world becomes smaller," Mr. Cella said, "I think the corporations that

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