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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Coersion by Radio

Monday, February 05, 2007

The next time you're in a pharmacy or a big department store, stop for a second and listen to the radio beaming overhead. Especially if you're a 25-54 year old woman. What you'll hear is what you always hear in those places--lite, dreamy, muzak. But what you'll also hear is 30 ad spots hyper-targeting you in an attempt to ramp up point of purchase sales. In other words, the radio will be talking to you.

It's part of a deal struck between a marketing company called Point of Purchase (POP) Radio and Westwood One Radio, which is the largest radio network in the country and is partially owned by CBS (sister to Viacom). So far Rite Aid pharmacies and K-Mart stores are among the first big outfits to sign up. They like it because the messages can be changed quickly and because it costs them less than regular radio.

Oh, and because you can't turn it off. Here's what the Rite Aid CEO has to say for it: "The consumer can't hide or change the channel."

In a media landscape that is increasingly giving people the control over advertising content, allowing them to block it online through pop-up blockers or browser extensions and to block it on TV through the use of a DVR, marketers are digging in their heels in those places where you can't block or skip the ad. And they're not just announcing specials and sales to the whole store; they're hyper-targeting one demographic, based on a batallion of consumer research.

NPH is just saying, beware of the radio.

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:38 AM

3 Comments:

Just FYI, CBS only owns 20% of Westowood One. Westwood One is separate entity with it's own stock (WON) and board of directors.
commented by Blogger Mike, 12:23 PM  
Oh yeah, I also should point out that CBS and Viacom are now two separate companies, the only common thread is that Sumner Redstone is Chairman of the Board for both companies.
commented by Blogger Mike, 12:25 PM  
Thanks! I'll update the post.
commented by Blogger Not Prince Hamlet, 8:55 PM  

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