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TV and advertising dying

It has been sad, especially for me who has advertised heavily on TV for more than one decade, to have watched the decline of live television. Apart from a few sports events, and even those show declining audiences, by and large people watch less and less live TV.  That means even if they want to watch a specific program they either watch it online or record it later when they zip through the adverts or without the adverts.  Advertising on TV has become less and less effective over the years and I, in particular, can see it in our call statistics and the new cases we take on from television advertising over the last three years.  The decline during that period in particular, which obviously also coincides with increasing internet speeds and it being cheaper and more cost-effective for people to have options such as Netflix, have really seen those calls dramatically reduced.

Business magazines talk about the generation of “cable cutters” and while they don’t literally mean actually cutting the cables, a lot of today’s younger generation, with the exception perhaps of Game of Thrones, simply don’t watch anything live on TV other than maybe a major cricket game, rugby match or soccer tournament when of course the advert break is the time to get up, stretch your legs, go to the bathroom or go and help yourself to a beer from the fridge.  What has been surprising though is how television companies have not really reduced the rates they charge for advertising during that time – perhaps the media buyers at the bigger firms – and I am talking about the major companies in South Africa – don’t seem to notice as much or they are too happy with all the special events they get invited to as a result of placing their firm’s media with those companies, but TV audiences, while not totally down, are certainly declining. 

In my industry of course most people would not advertise in the first place because the vast majority of attorneys simply unethically tout for business.  They pay touts up to R25,000 a case to bring them serious injury cases and that, from a cost-effective point of view, it is far cheaper than what it would cost to advertise for those same clients.  It is unethical, but I cannot think of when last an attorney was struck off for touting and even in the cases where we have laid complaints where attorneys have touted cases away from us precious little seems to have been done to them by the then Law Society and now the Legal Practice Council.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Wednesday 10-Jul-19 Share on Facebook   Tweet It

Post a Comment

Mathilda Du Preez  said:
on Tuesday 16-Jul-19 08:34 AM
Most of the people I know do not watch "normal" Tv anymore myself included.
One should consider alternative platforms to advertise for example YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and online gaming

Alexis  said:
on Monday 15-Jul-19 12:19 PM
With so many options out there, there is no use unless it is during sport or Carte Blanch or something like that. I cannot remember the last time I watch TV to be honest as there is access to so much for without your ads coming in every so often interrupting your show.

Jadine Richards  said:
on Thursday 11-Jul-19 01:46 PM
Throughout law school we were taught that touting was such a major taboo and that to engage in such conduct would be to jeopardize one's career . I guess that is just one of the things that don't remain true in real life.

Michelle Smillie  said:
on Thursday 11-Jul-19 10:24 AM
Unfortunately for some, the world keeps changing. In this day and age it might be wiser to consider advertising on the popular platforms, such as mobile games.

It is sad, however, that touting is not seen as unethical practice by the Legal Practice Council. I sincerely hope that this changes soon.

Melissa van Tellingen  said:
on Thursday 11-Jul-19 09:57 AM
I think the best thing to do is to pursue the avenues where one knows the adverts would be successful like YouTube and social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Bianca N  said:
on Wednesday 10-Jul-19 09:57 AM
TV Adverts won't be paying off as much as it used to with Netflix, ShowMax, etc. taking over. One would have to start looking at alternative ways to advertise that would actually pay off.

Courtney  said:
on Wednesday 10-Jul-19 09:29 AM
I hate watching TV!
There's no use of advertising on a TV no more because most people don't do the normal "tv" thing anymore.

patrick  said:
on Wednesday 10-Jul-19 08:25 AM
Other aspects of the media are taking over and one needs to start working in that direction.

david  said:
on Wednesday 10-Jul-19 08:09 AM
watching less TV = more time with the family.
not sure which is worse, ads or my family...


Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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