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Broadcast Nets Unite for Ad Campaign

The "Big Four: broadcast networks and the two netlets are joining forces for the first time to pitch the reach of broadcast TV.

The six, in conjunction with the Television Bureau of Advertising, are launching an ad campaign in the New York Times and ad agency-targetted trades next week with the tagline "People who need People buy Broadcast." (We guess the unspoken kicker is that they are the luckiest people in the world.)

Broadcasting has been giving up share to cable for years, but the networks want to drive home the point that almost any single broadcast program still reaches "far more viewers than cable programs."

The initial ad points out that, according to Nielsen, no cable program in the month of March made it into the top 100 list of most-viewed programs. "Advertisers buy programs, not aggregates," says TVB President Chris Rohrs, "and cable's poor showing for individual programs is not widely understood." That's certainly not for lack of trying on TVB's part, which regularly sends out e-mails pointing out for journalists who may have missed it just how few cable shows are on that top 100 list.

Creative for the ads came out of The NBC Agency, that network's in-house ad shop.