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Direct Response Marketing

Field Reports

1 Sep, 2003 By: Thomas Haire, Norm Goldring, Michael Kokernak Response


Pay for performance? A split decision.

About half of cable networks say they accept per-inquiry/per-sale schedules, most with conditions.



  • 1. 8 percent will accept pay for performance without restrictions.
  • 2. 8 percent will run pay for performance in conjunction with a cash buy.
  • 3. 32 percent accept a limited amount of pay for performance on a case-by-case basis.
  • 4. 52 percent said they're not accepting pay for performance orders at this time.


Little enthusiasm is in evidence here; this type of scheduling is considered more a "necessary evil" than a significant revenue opportunity.


And how would you like those dayparts served?

Almost every cable network across the board is willing to accommodate special scheduling requests in some fashion.



  • 1. 13 percent will narrow daypart rotations with no strings attached.
  • 2. 33 percent will narrow daypart rotations for a premium rate.
  • 3. 32 percent will narrow rotations in certain cases at the same rate.
  • 4. 19 percent will narrow rotations in certain cases and a premium rate.
  • 5. 3 percent never narrow rotations for direct response advertisers.


Forty-two percent of the cable network respondents also say they are willing to lock DR buys into specific programming in special situations, usually at higher rates and/or in local avails only.


Thanks for the rate, but will it run?

There's little uniformity in the way cable networks handle offers from DRTV media buyers.



  • 1. 30 percent say they accept all orders and clear those at the highest rates.
  • 2. 70 percent reject orders at rates that won't clear.


Ninety-two percent of these networks will allow continued bidding for inventory, and only eight percent reject all DRTV orders once they're sold out. Nine percent said that long-term buys tend to clear better than sort term tests.


Standard order and traffic forms: Does anyone care?

Indifference is the prevailing feeling among cable networks regarding the use of standardized forms in their industry.



  • 1. 45 percent of the networks want them adopted and used.
  • 2. 10 percent said they'd rather not have standard forms.
  • 3. 45 percent are indifferent.


Assuming the indifferent networks will accept standard forms, a 90-percent approval rate may be worth further industry study.


Videa Finds Swashbuckling Success With Spots for Discovery Kids

"Well, we just decided to go for it. But, man, that bridge was just rocking all over the place. It was wild." On a shoot, those words were not quite the last thing I needed to hear from the driver of the five-ton production truck.


"I think we'll get back over it okay." That was the last thing I needed to hear.

Hair-raisingly, I heard it on a recent short-form shoot for the Discovery Channel. The bridge in question was the only link - a floating barge, basically, with a chunk of road on top of it - that connected one of the Texas coastal barrier islands with the mainland. The otherwise flawless shoot had just wrapped on the island.

And at that moment, I realized that during all the weeks of intense production planning, of going over details left and right, of thinking that we had everything covered, the one thing that had never entered my consciousness was the need to check a bridge load limit - which just goes to show how hard it is to remember every last detail on a DR shoot.

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