'Generation Fox' takes on Viacom

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In its pre-upfront pitch to buyers News Corp. is taking on Viacom as the one-stop-shop buy for the 12-to-24 demographic, a media-neutral approach that is arguably unprecedented among the broadcast networks.

The so-called Generation Fox play emphasizes the breadth of its youth-oriented properties, which include social-networking site MySpace.com, gaming site IGN.com, network TV and syndication shows and Mobizzo, the global phone-content company from Fox Mobile Entertainment. It also gives the clearest indication yet of how Rupert Murdoch and his lieutenants, such as Fox President-Ad Sales Jon Nesvig, intend to leverage the company's growing stable of new-media assets.

Not only is the pitch aimed at satisfying advertisers demanding more options beyond the small screen, but its end game is also to outmaneuver Viacom's MTV Networks and CBS/Time Warner's youth-focused broadcast network, the CW.

"We reach more people on Fox in two hours than MTV does in a week," boasted Tony Vinciquerra, president-CEO of Fox Networks Group, who brainstormed the push with News Corp. President-Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin.

Generation Fox is already working to change buyer perceptions. "People have always assumed Viacom owns" the demographic, said Jason Kanefsky, VP-account director, MPG. "But now News Corp. is staking a claim."

While advertisers' holy grail has been the 18-34 demographic, News Corp. is drilling down further, dangling the promise of reaching 12- to 24-year-olds that control some $350 billion in buying power.

In its round to shops, News Corp.'s message is that it's the best place to engage that demographic. "This company is still dominant [in capturing the young adults]," said Mr. Nesvig.

To facilitate the buys, News Corp is taking a new look at cross-platform selling, which has fallen out of vogue in recent years. "The goal is to make it easier for advertisers," Mr. Vinciquerra said. The former cross-company sales unit, News Corp. One, took a top-down approach, forcing units to work together to offer advertisers scale across its units.

Buyers appear bullish on the pitch. "It did show the breadth of what they have and their desire to integrate advertising to the level they want," Mr. Kanefsy said. "A lot of times advertisers get pushed to the side. They understand the need to embrace advertisers."
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