For the past 40 years or so, the TV advertising marketplace could count on the “slinky effect” -- strong scatters following weak upfronts and vice versa. While oversimplified for brevity’s sake, this dynamic held serve while TV ad dollars remained a walled garden. The TV plan, its hegemony intact, was subject mostly to the vagaries of “upfront” versus “scatter” allocation. The demand-side reacted to strength in either upfront or scatter markets by pushing next year’s dollars in the other direction. Notable exceptions to the dynamic occurred in years when significant economic or other upheaval intervened (1987/2001/2008).
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