The WSJ says:
The annual network "upfront" ad-selling season officially kicks off today, but one of the country’s biggest advertisers won’t be buying — at least not now.
Johnson & Johnson, the New Brunswick, N.J., health-care products maker, has informed the major TV networks that it is planning to sit out the annual selling bazaar, the time of year when TV networks secure ad commitments for about 80% of the coming fall season’s primetime ad inventory. J&J spent almost $500 million on network-TV ads last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence, although not all of that is necessarily committed in the upfront market.
The balance of power really is shifting from television programmers to the marketers. And with the Internet among the most accountable and unsaturated territories for marketing spend, I bet we’ll see the traditional media industries jockey even harder to hold on to the marketing dollars they once enjoyed with ease. This is especially true for television, which will probably end up giving the Internet and digital media one of its biggest boosts ever over the next few years. I also bet we’ll also see more marketers becoming the programmers themselves, direct to consumer. Are branded pipelines really that important anymore? They seem to be less so for youth.