N.Y. Ops' Group Generating Ad Sales

The Cable Television and Telecommunications Association of New York has netted its members $6 million ad dollars from state agencies over the past year.

The largest buy is a statewide multimedia campaign for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, promoting the department's 2002-03 tax amnesty program. That agency will spend $4 million on cable spots designed to convince citizens who are delinquent in their taxes to pay their debts and avoid penalty.

CTTANY president Richard Alteri said the campaigns represent new dollars for the cable industry. The association leveraged its political contacts and its synergy within the industry to successfully bid for state contracts that have traditionally gone to broadcasters, he said.

The tax campaign also includes ads placed with Time Warner Cable cousins America Online, Time
and Fortune. The effort was created, packaged, placed and billed through the trade association and broke on Dec. 6.

CTTANY has nibbled into public-sector advertising for several years, and the results are paying off. The trade group made $300,000 for its members convincing Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office to buy ads for a 2000 teen anti-smoking campaign.

Operators won that business by promising two-for-one coverage — one free avail for every one bought.

In 2000, the group generated $750,000 in ad sales from state agencies. That number rose to $1.2 million in 2001.

This year, the New York group credits a cross-platform campaign and a new one-stop shop. The CTTANY now offers detailed initial assessment of an agency's needs, then creates a multimedia plan to meet a campaign's goals. The trade group writes scripts and handles production, media buying, billing and reporting chores.

New York operators said they are pleased with the lobby group's efforts.

"We appreciate the advocacy CTTANY has demonstrated on our behalf and will continue to assist the association in its good work in the future," Larry Dowd, general sales manager of Cablevision Long Island, said in a prepared statement.

The trade group is already at work on new contracts for 2003.

"Cable has a great story to tell and we're working aggressively to get more state agencies to place their advertising dollars with us. It makes sense on every level," said Alteri. "Cable television ratings are at an all-time high. Smart advertisers are following the trends in viewership and moving their advertising dollars to cable."