CBS Corp. signs first multi-unit ad package

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CBS Corp. has signed Pennzoil Products Co. to a sweeping pact worth as much as $25 million, the media company's first-ever deal across all its divisions: the CBS-TV network, its TNN cable network, the CBS-owned radio stations, the CBS-owned TV stations and the company's Transit Displays Inc. outdoor ad unit.

The yearlong Pennzoil partnership starts in the first quarter of 1999. According to executives familiar with the deal, Pennzoil is spending 10% to 15% more than it normally spends on CBS properties.


Both CBS Chairman Michael Jordan and company President Mel Karmazin have long touted the desirability of such deals, though they are difficult to put together. In fact, Pennzoil Chief Marketing Officer Tom Floyd said in the past nine months the deal, hammered out with the assistance of Pennzoil's shop, GSD&M, Austin, Texas, was seemingly dead more than once.

After the inking of the Pennzoil deal, the sales chiefs of CBS' myriad divisions will now work closer together to target a select group of advertisers for similar multidivisional pacts, said Lloyd Werner, exec VP-sales and marketing, CBS Cable. Participating in addition to Mr. Warner will be Peter Weisbard, senior VP-ad sales, CBS Cable; Joe Abruzzese, president, CBS Television Network sales; Dan Coby, VP-national sales manager, CBS Television Network; Dan Cosgrove, president, Eyemark media sales; as well as executives from CBS Enterprises, CBS Radio, CBS Spot Sales and CBS New Media.


While some details still have to be worked out in the Pennzoil pact--including elements that may involve CBS' coverage of the National Football League and CBS' syndicated TV properties--a number of value-added sponsorships have been agreed upon. Pennzoil will sponsor a halftime segment during college basketball coverage on CBS, as well as a number of auto races on CBS and TNN.

On the Internet, the oil marketer will sponsor an area on TNN's Web site (, and Pennzoil will sponsor sports, weather and traffic reports on certain CBS-owned TV and radio stations.

Pennzoil has long used TNN and CBS-TV to advertise its products. But it's the first time it will integrate spot TV, spot radio and outdoor as well. Pennzoil owns the Quaker State brand, but Mr. Floyd said it remained to be seen if advertising for that brand would be included.


"From our side, the most difficult part was getting the media buyers to work with the various components in a cooperative manner," said Mr. Floyd. "On the CBS side, they had to get their various divisions to work in harmony."

Clyde Deahm, group VP-marketing for Pennzoil, said these cross-media packages are "the wave of the future."

But one reason more multidivision accords aren't struck with media companies is because most clients and agencies want steep discounts while media companies demand premiums.

"We told our divisions, `Look, don't gouge this guy. Give him a good rate,"' said Mr. Werner. "And [Mr. Floyd] trusted that [Mr. Weisbard] would see to it that the other divisions treated him fairly."

Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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