NBC calls illegal formation on Super Bowl ad

Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:03am EST

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NEW YORK (AdWeek) - NBC said Tuesday that it will not allow a spot with multiple advertisers in the Super Bowl.

A day earlier, Los Angeles-based ad shop Cesario Migliozzi said it was discussing a plan with the network in which the agency, in a first, would pool eight advertisers to jointly buy at least one of the remaining spots in the February 1 game.

"We've not given them permission, and there is no way we are going to," said Seth Winter, senior vp sports and Olympics sales for NBC.

Furthermore, an NBC representative said the ad was never in the cards, although CM partner Michael Migliozzi strongly denied that, saying that he had been discussing the co-op proposal with an NBC Sports sales rep for two weeks.

"We were cheerleaded by the L.A. office with regards to what we were trying to do," Migliozzi said. The NBC Sports rep did not immediately return calls for comment.

Migliozzi said the rep told him Monday night that the proposal was "causing some grief with some of their current NBC clients."

The agency had planned to charge each of the eight advertisers $395,000 to participate. That would cover the $3 million media buy and leave $160,000 to fund production costs. (Some Super Bowl advertisers spend several times that amount to create original ads for the game.)

Clients would have their logos appear throughout the 30-second spot and be listed on a special Web site, superbowlglory.com, that would remain online for a year. Viral videos for each client were also planned.

Separately Tuesday, FedEx said it would not run a Super Bowl ad for the first time in 12 years. Director of advertising Steve Pacheco cited "unprecedented economic waters" as the reason the delivery giant is opting out.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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