Advanced Ad 2017: Comcast’s Jenckes Says TV Advertising Needs More Sophistication

TV advertising needs to get more sophisticated, Marcien Jenkes, president of advertising at Comcast, said at NYC Television Week Wednesday (Oct. 18).

Television advertising is seen as relatively unsophisticated when compared with digital, Jenckes said, speaking at the B&C/Multichannel News Advanced Advertising event in New York.

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”The only way this industry is going to survive and thrive is if you take this unsophisticated bucket and make it sophisticated," he said. "Make it targetable, make it data-enabled and make it accountable. If you can do that, unified across your full audience, there’s no better way for marketers to drive their business.”

Jenckes said that for a long time, TV took its advantages as an ad medium for granted. It didn’t bring data to the table or move ahead with better targeting. In the meantime, digital advertising earned its place at the table.

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At Comcast, advertising is a big revenue generator, behind video and high-speed internet, he said. The company moved to make its advertising business more sophisticated by buying a number of firms, including FreeWheel, Strata, Visible World and Sticky Ads, and incorporated them into its ad business.

“They all don’t exist separately,” Jenckes said. "They’re part of the advanced advertising group, which wants to serve the industry. We want to serve our own interest, but we want to make television the most effective form of advertising.”

To do that, Comcast is working with companies that can do real-time attribution studies, such as tvty and 605.

“Every day we’ll get more sophisticated,” Jenckes said. “Everyday we make a little more progress down the road.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.