Advertisers exercise options to cancel upfront buys

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Last week, major media companies reported that marketers have been exercising options to cancel some of the second-quarter commercial time they bought in the upfront.

As of last week, the cancellations were running between10% and 15% of upfront revenue, and there were still a significant number of large advertisers that hadn’t made a decision yet.
In the previous quarter, cancellations were only slightly larger than normal.

Network executives commenting last week on the rate of second-quarter cancellations said they had expected worse, and had seen worse in past downturns.

Peter Chernin, chief operating officer of News Corp., said that about 8% of Fox Broadcasting’s second-quarter upfront sales had been canceled.

Meanwhile Mediaweek reports that giant Proctor & Gamble exercised its option to bail on its Q2 upfront spend just a week after its COO said P&G would continue to maintain its marketing spend. The article notes that P&G claims it has been holding its spending steady, but getting more delivery for the same amount of money due to a soft advertising market.

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