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Man Cutting Cable

By Kevin White, CEO and President, Whitehardt, Inc.

Why is cable such a bad deal for advertising attorneys?

I wish it weren’t true, but it is. Cable sucks!

The problem is they don’t want to sell the way we want to buy. The best buy strategy for an advertising personal injury attorney is to buy exactly the shows you want to be in, and pay a bargain price on a Cost Per Thousand (CPM) impressions basis. Cable outlets, on the other hand, want you to buy broad rotators across multiple networks. I understand their motivation – it’s easier for them to fill out their inventory if they’re given extremely broad latitude. “Don’t worry about what show your ad runs in, it’s all good programming,” they’ll say.

But it does matter and you should worry! No matter what shows and/or networks you buy from them, it’s very rare when they sell them to you at anywhere close to the same bargain CPM as you’ll get on broadcast TV.

Why would anyone buy it? Actually, it would make a lot of sense for someone selling golf clubs to advertise on the Golf Channel. Despite the fact that the CPM is going to be outrageously high, the golf club maker can reach more golfers per dollar it spends. Other examples are plentiful, but cable just doesn’t make sense for advertising attorneys. You could change my mind if you could find me some cable shows that have a higher percentage of viewers who are recent car wreck victims than Maury or a daytime judge show. I’ve tried, and it can’t be done.

The name of the game is low CPM and a high percentage of less educated viewers, and broadcast TV is still king.

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